March 17, 1925 - October 15, 2021
May Purvis, 96 of Traverse City passed away October 15, 2021 at Orchard Creek Assisted Living, surrounded by her loving children. May was born on March 17, 1925 in Lake Leelanau to the late Andrew Peter and Nellie Christine Nelson. May grew up on the family farm alongside her siblings Orlean, Herbert and Jane. She had many fond memories from her childhood. Her family was always thrifty and to the end she was never wasteful and could always find a use for something. During the war, May was a true Rosie the Riveter. She moved to Toledo, Ohio where she worked in a factory as an inspector. On the weekends she would take a train and a bus to Detroit to stay with family and when the war ended, she moved back to Leland. On April 3, 1948 May married Richard Philip Purvis at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Leland. May was a devoted stay at home mom, but she was so much more than that. In addition to caring for her kids and keeping up with housework, May was very active in the community. She was the office manager for the family business, Purvis Brothers Steel Fabrication and Repairs. After they sold the business, she went to work at the NMC bookstore and retired after ten years of service. May was involved as a den mother for cub scouts and was active at Eastern Elementary in the PTO. She would often take her kids fruit picking, whether it was for cherries, strawberries or blackberries; she loved to eat fruit. She would often can it with a healthy dose of sugar for the family to enjoy all year long. She and her neighbors also liked to go for walks around the civic center. May and Rich were members of Central United Methodist Church for over 50 years. Here she made many friends and was the head of the rummage sales and helped with many holiday bazaars and in the kitchen for family night meals. She was part of the women’s society and service circle. She and Rich were also members of Yoke Fellow group. She also was a dedicated Sunday School teacher where she shared good Christian education with all of the kids. May will be remembered for her brave, stoic, generous and kind spirit. May was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 73 years, Rich; her parents, siblings; and granddaughter Kimberly Forsyth. May is survived by her children Steve (Andrea) Purvis, Christine (Gordon) Forsyth, David Purvis, Deborah (Paul) Newhouse and Mark (Pamela) Purvis; grandchildren Kelly Forsyth, Maria, Neil and Richard (Erin) Purvis, Lisa and Callee Newhouse, Emily (Jordi) Llore, Nicole (Billy) Beecher and Andrew (Cindy) Purvis and great grandchildren Dawson, Gavin, Lilly, Finn, Max, Mario, James, Colin, and Walter. She was greatly looking forward to meeting her next great grandchild due in November. Visitation for family and friends will be held on Thursday, October 21, 2021 from 5 to 7 pm at the Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home. Graveside services will take place at Swedish Mission Cemetery in Good Harbor on Friday, October 22, 2021 at 11:00 am. Memorial contributions may be directed to Hospice of Michigan (10850 E. Traverse Highway, #1155, Traverse City, MI 49684) or to the Cherryland Humane Society of Traverse City. Please share your memories here on this online guestbook.
May Purvis, 96 of Traverse City passed away October 15, 2021 at Orchard Creek Assisted Living, surrounded by her loving children. May was born on March 17, 1925 in Lake Leelanau to the late Andrew Peter and Nellie Christine Nelson. May grew... View Obituary & Service Information
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