He was born in Red Level, Alabama on July 6, 1929 to Vernon and Stella Purnell.
John served his country in the United States Air Force for 22 years retiring at the rank of Master Sergeant. His overseas tours of duty included Greenland, Vietnam, and Aviano, Italy.
He was an avid fisherman and gardener, and train enthusiast, and enjoyed sharing the hobbies he loved with all.
John is preceded by his beloved wife of 69 years, Mary Louise, and their oldest daughter Cynthia.
He is survived by his children Sandra P., John Keith, and Grover Lee, and the grandchildren: Michael Maddox, Danielle Rangel, Tony Jimenez, Nicole Buzzelli, Matthew Celano, Stephen Purnell, and Kyle Purnell.
A visitation will be held at the First Baptist Church in Chipley on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., with the Memorial Service to follow at 11:00 a.m.
A grave-site burial service will held at Barrancas National Cemetery at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida on Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 1:00 P.M.
The family is grateful for the faithful and loving care provided by Covenant Care Hospice, and request donations in honor of John’s life, or instead of flowers.