James (Jim) Harlan Purvis, age 90, of Wabasha, passed away Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 at St. Elizabeth’s Health Care Center in Wabasha surrounded by his loving family. He was born January 6, 1928 in Plainview, the son of Samuel and Agnes (Harlan) Purvis. He grew up in Plainview and graduated from Plainview High School in 1946. While in high school he starred in football, basketball, and track as a Plainview Gopher, making the All-Whitewater League Basketball Team in 1946. He joined the United States Army after high school.
He married Rita Hough February 16, 1950 at St. Joachim Catholic Church in Plainview. She preceded him in death on March 12, 2007. Together they had five children. He supported his family by working at Big Jo Flour Mill, Dolphin Canoe, and Culligan Water, all located in Wabasha. Most of his working life was spent as a state grain inspector. Jim was an avid sports fan, following his children in their athletic endeavors and the Minnesota college and professional sports teams.
Among his family members, Jim was famous for his cooking skills. Family favorites included his marinated arm roast on the grill, boiled dinner, marinated cukes, and undercooked pancakes. He earned the nickname Grandpa Pancakes from two grandsons who lived down the road from him. Jim was also a professional napper and a part-time cat trapper. He enjoyed reading Louis L'Amour westerns and teasing people in general. His sense of humor and sharp wit will be greatly missed.
Jim is survived by his children and their spouses, Karen Purvis and special friend, Michael Marx, Wabasha, MN, Barbara and Thomas Kasper, Mondovi, WI, Michael and Kimberly Purvis, Burnsville, MN, Julie and Keith Koenig, Richfield, MN, and James (Tony) and Heidi Purvis, Wabasha, MN; 13 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild due in January; and one sister, Rita Krueger, St. Peter, MN. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Rita, his brother, Joseph Purvis, and his grandson, Kelly Kasper.
A service celebrating his life will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018 at 7pm at Abbott Funeral Home in Wabasha. Officiating will be Deacon John Hust. Family and friends may call at the funeral home on Wednesday from 4 -7pm. Interment will be at a later date at Greenwood Cemetery in Plainview. Memorials are preferred to St. Elizabeth’s Assisted Living Fund. The Abbott Funeral Home & Crematory is in charge of arrangements. www.abbottfh.com