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Thelma “Jean” Purcell

August 2, 1933 – June 26, 2018

Thelma “Jean” Purcell, 84 years young, passed away June 26, 2018 in Keizer, Oregon after a long battle with dementia. Born August 2, 1933 in Coffeyville, Kansas, Jean’s mother was a homemaker and father was a motorcycle mechanic.  She grew up with four sisters and three brothers during a time of simplicity, with surviving the Great Depression and the toll of WWII the value of belongings was never overlooked.  After the war, she met the love of her life, Kenneth “Ken” Purcell, a Navy veteran.  Jean married Ken, October 18, 1948 and they were married for 69 years before he passed last year.  They relocated to Salem, Oregon where Ken’s family resided; there they built a home and raised two daughters.     

In her younger years Jean raced motorcycles with the Motor Maids Motorcycle racing club winning many trophies. She loved everything outdoors including fishing for salmon, deer hunting, camping, gardening and enjoying the efforts of her rose garden.  Jean loved traveling all of the 50 states and vacationing in the Caribbean and Mexico.  She enjoyed bowling on a league and was a devout member of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, Elks Lodge, Grow and Show Garden Club and the VFW auxiliary. Jean was a caregiver by career and at heart. She supported her husband, children and grandchildren in everything they did.

Jean was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to all. She was proceeded in death by her husband Ken and daughter Joyce Shipman.  Jean is survived by her daughter, Kathy Vandolah and five grandchildren, Jill Auborn, Jason Shipman, Shaunna Young, Brian Shipman, Tracy Goodlet plus eight great-grandchildren. She will be sorely missed by all of the souls that she touched.

Friends and family are welcome to attend a celebration of life for Jean at the Salem Elks Lodge – Friday, July 20 at 2:00 pm.  Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.