It is with a broken heart I share with you that Jean Purvis passed away peacefully in her sleep last night.
This is a day full of emotion for all of us who knew and loved Jean.
We all know that this is what she has wanted for a long time.
We can find assurance that she is at peace and free from pain.
As part of the Jean B. Purvis family, we can all be comforted that she was so very proud of all of us.
For each and every volunteer she had nothing but gratitude for making her dream of this clinic come true.
She loved each and every one of you.
For the staff she thought of each of you with pride as you continued the daily legacy of her dream.
As many of you know, I would visit Jean regularly. She would ask about all of you. Volunteers and staff alike.
She wanted to make sure all of you knew how important you were and what an important job you were doing.
We should all be proud today, of being a part of the Jean B. Purvis Community Health Center and the difference we make.
We can be sure Jean is.
Jean B. Purvis
January 28, 1922 - May 31, 2020
Jean Burchinal Purvis of Butler, Pennsylvania, passed away on Sunday, May 31, 2020 at her residence.
She was born January 28, 1922, in Washington, Pennsylvania to the late Warren S. Burchinal and the late Florence Iseman Burchinal.
Originally from Washington, PA, Jean grew up as the youngest of three children. She graduated from Pennsylvania College for Women, now Chatham University. Upon graduation, Jean went to New York, where she lived and worked for two years. She married and moved to Butler after the war with her husband, Dr. Joseph D. Purvis, Jr. Jean and her husband had five children. This large family did not in any way prevent her from living a life of outstanding service to her community.
Jean helped establish the Butler Visiting Nursing Association and served on the board of directors. She served two terms on Butler Area School Board as the Chair of the Building Committee for the Intermediate School, as a Chair of the Committee on Extended School Year, and negotiated contracts with teachers. Jean worked for 13 years at Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Architects as a Director of Marketing, where she developed all promotional materials, helped to plan prospective client presentations, established and edited a monthly newsletter. She also worked as Public Relations Consultant for Irene Pasinski Associates that did graphic designs.
Jean was a member and President of the League of Women Voters. Jean was involved with United Way in promotion and served as an assistant to the chair for one year. She served on the State Committee on Vocational Education, as Governor's Appointment for five years and as a Chair for three years, working with other school boards to support the building of Vocational - Technical school for the county. Jean was a founding committee member of Leadership Butler County and worked with Ralph Burt to establish the Leadership Program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Being a 20 year plus member of the Butler County Community College Foundation, Jean was named First Member Emeritus and was on the board development committee. She was a member of the Butler Health Systems Foundation for 20 years.
In 2005, she saw the original Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, in Hilton Head, SC. Inspired by that model of providing free medical care for adults without health insurance or access to health care, she pushed Butler Community leaders to establish the Community Health Clinic of Butler County, which opened in 2008. In 2018, the Clinic was renamed the Jean B. Purvis Community Health Center. Since its opening, the Clinic has impacted more than 10,000 individuals.
Jean received many awards for her community service, including, most recently, the Senator John Heinz Award, from the United Way’s Tocqueville Society, and the Women’s Leadership Council Award, from the United Way of Southwestern PA. The Butler Rotary awarded Jean the Distinguished Service Award. She received the Community Service Award from the Endowment for Butler County. Jean was given the Women of Legacy Award from Butler Health System. She was presented the Andrus Award by the AARP of Pennsylvania.
Jean wrote and published two books: "A Medical History of Butler" in 2000 and "A Pictorial History of Butler" with co-author, Stephen Pozar, that was published in 1981 and revised in 1990.
She was an avid reader, and an enthusiastic golfer, scoring two aces - the most recent at the age of 89.
Jean is survived by her three sons, Joseph D. (Sandy) Purvis III of NC, William W. (Mihae Lee) Purvis of CT, Robert D. (Suzy Shedd) Purvis of VT; one daughter, Sally Purvis Recio of Butler, PA; eleven Grandchildren, Jos Purvis, Jess Purvis, Rosalie Purvis, Clara Purvis Fleming, Ron Recio, Matt Recio, Jennifer Recio, Tim Recio, Heather Jaffey, Emily King, and Lili Thomas; 13 great grandchildren; one sister-in-law, Kay Burchinal; three nieces; and two nephews.
She was preceded in death by her brother, David Burchinal; her sister, Eleanor Ruffner; her stepsister, Patricia Redding; her husband, Joseph D. Purvis, Jr, MD, who she married in June 1943 and who passed away on November 23, 1987; one son, Thomas W. Purvis; and her partner, Bud Huselton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be to Jean B. Purvis Community Health Clinic, 103 Bonnie Drive, Butler, PA 16002.
Arrangements are being handled by the Thompson-Miller Funeral Home, 124 East North St., Butler, PA 16001.
Online condolences can be given at www.thompson-miller.com.