William Henry 'Wild Bill' Purnell


ULYSSES — William Henry "Wild Bill" Purnell, 78, of Ulysses, died Saturday, June 7, 2014, at St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City.

ULYSSES — William Henry "Wild Bill" Purnell, 78, of Ulysses, died Saturday, June 7, 2014, at St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City.

He was born on July 27, 1935, to James William Purnell and Mildred Virginia Coy Purnell Dawson in Pilot Grove, Mo.

In 1968, he married Bernice "Bea" Caldwell.

Mr. Purnell served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., and was a master craftsman in the field of carpentry, woodworking and painting.

Survivors include his wife; two sons, Ricky Jay Scott of Macksville and William Jay Purnell of Wichita; twin daughters, Resa Dudley of California, Mo., and Sherry Ann "Tinky" Purnell of Raleigh, N.C.; three brothers, Donnie Purnell of Spotsylvania, Va., Joe Dawson of Platte City, Mo., and Coy Dawson of Searcy, Ark.; 10 sisters, Pat Corser of Lebanan, Mo.; Kathryn Fisher, Mary Lee Rowles and Tink Myers, all of Tipton, Mo., Shirley Young of Adel, Ga., Sandy Wood of Riverside, Calif., Barbara Dawson of Garden City, Idaho, Carlene Messerli of California, Mo., Louise Elliott of Dysart, Iowa, and Shirley Caldwell of LaPorte City, Iowa; 12 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his stepfather, Joe Dawson; a brother, Jack Purnell; and a granddaughter, Sandi Lynn Faulkner.

Funeral services will be held at 7 p.m. today at Patterson Avenue Church of God in Ulysses. Interment will be held Thursday at the Hopewell Union Cemetery in Barnett, Mo.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established for the Bill Purnell family, in care of the Bank of Ulysses, 200 E. Oklahoma Ave., Ulysses, KS 67880.

Arrangements are being handled by Garnand Funeral Home, 405 W. Grant Ave, Ulysses.

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