The Rev. A.W. “Blackie” Purdin, 96, of Bellefontaine, passed away peacefully at Mary Rutan Hospital, Bellefontaine on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.
He was born in Greenfield on April 22, 1923, to the late Carl C. and Pearl M. Kemp Purdin. Also preceding him in death were an infant son, Francis Carl Purdin; five brothers, Robert, Cecil, Kenneth, Carl and Richard (infant); and three sisters, Ruth Mullins, Mary Elizabeth Purdin (infant) and Pearl Margaret Purdin (infant).
On April 11, 1945, in Maysville, Ky., he married Louise Eva May Jenkins and they were married 73 years before her death Aug. 8, 2018.
Survivors include a daughter, Sheryl (Philip) Godwin of Bellefontaine; son, Jeffrey (Janet) Purdin of West Liberty; grandsons, John (Amber) Godwin of Zanesfield and Tyler (Julie) Godwin of Avondale, Ariz.; a great-granddaughter, Abigail (Cody Lyons) Godwin of Bellefontaine; great-grandsons, Kaleb and Karsten Godwin, both of Avondale, Ariz.; two great-stepgrandsons, Jared (Emelee Earick) Abbott and Joel Abbott; and many nieces and nephews.
He grew up in Champaign County and attended Concord School. He joined the U.S. Army in 1941and served 37 months of combat service in the South Pacific theater. He was honorably discharged by virtue of the 85 or more points scored under the ASRD plan in 1945.
He worked 33 years on the railroad, resigning in January 1978 from Conrail. He became a full-time pastor of the First Church of God in Ridgeway in September 1978 and was ordained by his brotherhood in Springfield that same year. His ordination was celebrated in his home church, First Church of God, Bellefontaine, on Nov. 5, 1978. He continued his education at Anderson (Ind.) College where he studied theology.
A.W. never knew a stranger. He performed many marriages and funerals as a pastor and spent many hours visiting the area nursing homes. He worked with the youth in the Bellefontaine church prior to preaching in Ridgeway and acted as an interim pastor in Bellefontaine Church of the Brethren on South Detroit Street for eight years, retiring in November 1998. He loved music and played the guitar and mandolin over the years, continuing even after retirement and was a member of F&AM Lodge 209 in Bellefontaine.
Pastor Gary Brown will officiate a funeral service at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11, at Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Bellefontaine, where visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, with Masonic services at 7 p.m. Burial is in Huntsville Cemetery with military honors provided by the Logan County Veterans Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Church of God Youth Fund, 1000 E. Brown Ave., Bellefontaine, OH 43311; and to charities of the donors’ choice.
Express condolences at www.edsfh.com.