Obituary: Barbara M. Purcell
A life well lived. Barbara Marie (née Jurgella) Purcell, 81, a lifelong resident of Stevens Point, died peacefully on August 16, 2018. She was surrounded by family and was reciting the Rosary when she gracefully left the mortal world. Just five days earlier, she celebrated her 81st birthday with an incredible party sharing memories and laughs with her entire family.
Barb was born August 11, 1937 in Stevens Point to the late Sylvester “Fuzzy” and Mae (née Yulga) Jurgella. She enjoyed a loving childhood in Stevens Point, where she was the third of four children. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy (Maria High School) in 1955 and worked at Jurgella’s Supermarket before meeting the love of her life, Richard “Dick” Purcell. It was in 1954 when Dick was sitting on her Grandmother’s porch and he saw her walking his way, he knew, at that moment that his life would be forever changed. Four years later, Barb and Dick were married on January 11, 1958 and a 60-year romance ensued. During their marriage, they made their cherished home in Stevens Point, with the exception of four great years in the Twin Cities. Together they enjoyed travel, playing cards and their beloved cottage with their family and wide circle of friends.
Barb was a loving wife and mother. Her priority was always her family. She was a devout Catholic and was always in service to her local faith community. Barb led an active professional life, serving as a secretary for the Stevens Point School District for over 23 years.
Barb was the consummate cook and also enjoyed sewing, knitting and ceramics. However, her greatest interest was ensuring that the cottage at Sunset Lake provided the most loving environment, establishing it as a special place for generations to come. She enjoyed spending time with her family while watching the loons, eagles and other wildlife. She not only has created a Purcell legacy at Sunset Lake but also enabled a generation of Jurgellas with a perpetual link to their past.
Despite being faced with health challenges throughout her life, she handled those battles with an optimism and grace that has inspired all who knew her. As she passed into the Eternal Kingdom, she was surrounded by family and was saying the Rosary when she peacefully slipped away. Ironically, she had recently been asked by a grandchild, “What happens when you fall asleep praying the Rosary?” Grandma replied with perfect clarity, “The angels finish it for you.” We now know who will be finishing our rosaries.
Barb unconditionally supported her family with immense wisdom, warmth and love, forming profound relationships with each of her grandchildren. Barb is survived by the love of her life, Dick. Her children Peg (Jim) Milosevich of New Brighton, MN; Pat (Sharon) Purcell of Renton, WA; Pam Purcell of Pewaukee, WI; Jacque (Mike) Anderson of Medina, MN. Her grandchildren, Michael and Matthew Milosevich; Megan and Sam Murray; Lindsay, Erin and Ava Anderson. Her sister-in-law Mimi Berard Jurgella of Wausau, WI and many nieces and nephews. Her goddaughter described her as a “Godly example of what it truly means to be a joyful, kind, strong, unconditionally loving, faith-filled woman.”
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Sal Joe Jurgella, sister Marge Corcoran, sister Kathleen Brekke, and infant granddaughter Clare Anderson.
Barb’s family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the staff at Marshfield Medical Center that has given special care to her throughout her lifetime. A special thank you to the Portage County Health Care Center staff for their loving and professional care. Places like the Portage County Health Care Center are critical to building compassionate communities.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Lupus Foundation of America (www.lupus.org) or the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) in Barb’s name.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday August 22, 2018 at St. Bronislava Catholic Church at 3200 Plover Road, Plover, WI. Rev. Edward Shuttleworth will officiate. Burial will follow in the Guardian Angel Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services Wednesday morning at the Church. A Rosary will be prayed at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Pisarski Community Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family. For online condolences please visit www.pisarskifuneralhome.com