Rev. A.W. “Blackie” Purdin, age 96, of Bellefontaine, Ohio passed away peacefully at Mary Rutan Hospital in Bellefontaine Wednesday, May 8, 2019.
He was born in Greenfield, Ohio April 22, 1923, to the late Carl C. and Pearl M. (Kemp) Purdin. Also preceding him in death was an infant son, Francis Carl Purdin; five brothers, Robert, Cecil, Kenneth, Carl and Richard (infant); three sisters, Ruth Mullins, Mary Elizabeth Purdin (infant) and Pearl Margaret Purdin (infant).
On April 11, 1945 in Maysville, Kentucky, he married Louise Eva May Jenkins and they were married seventy three years before she preceded him in death August 8, 2018.
Survivors include a daughter, Sheryl (Philip) Godwin of Bellefontaine; a son, Jeffrey (Janet) Purdin of West Liberty, Ohio; grandsons, John (Amber) Godwin of Zanesfield, Ohio and Tyler (Julie) Godwin of Avondale, Arizona; a great granddaughter, Abigail (Cody Lyons) Godwin of Bellefontaine; great grandsons, Kaleb and Karsten Godwin, both of Avondale, Arizona; two step great grandsons, Jared (Emelee Earick) Abbott and Joel Abbott and many nieces and nephews.
A.W. grew up in Champaign County and attended Concord School. He joined the United States Army in 1941 serving thirty seven months of combat service in the South Pacific theatre of war and was honorably discharged by virtue of the eighty five or more points scored under the ASRD plan in 1945.
He worked thirty three years on the railroad which ended in January of 1978 when he resigned from Conrail. He became a full-time pastor of the First Church of God in Ridgeway, Ohio in September and was ordained by his brotherhood in Springfield that same year. His ordination was celebrated in his home church, the First Church of God in Bellefontaine November 5, 1978. He continued his education at Anderson College in Indiana where he studied Theology.
A.W. never knew a stranger. He performed many marriages and funerals as a pastor and spent many hours visiting area nursing homes. He worked with the youth in the Bellefontaine church prior to preaching in Ridgeway and acted as an interim pastor at the Bellefontaine Church of the Brethren on South Detroit St. for eight years, retiring in November of 1998. He loved music and played the guitar and mandolin over the years continuing even after retirement. A.W. was a member of the Bellefontaine F&AM Lodge #209.
Pastor Gary Brown will officiate the funeral service at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, May 11, 2019 at the Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home & Cremation Center in Bellefontaine.
Visitation will be held Friday, May 10, 2019 from 4 to 7 P.M. at the funeral home with a Masonic Service being held at 7:00 P.M.
Burial will be at the Huntsville Cemetery with military honors provided by the Logan County Veteran Honor Guard.
The arrangements are in the care of the staff of the Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Bellefontaine.
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