Aldea "Mim" Purcell
The close-knit Catskill towns of Roxbury, Margaretville and Andes are deeply saddened by the loss of a beloved woman long recognized as a pillar of the community, “Mim” Purcell. She died Monday, March 9, 2009 at Margaretville.
Aldea Hermina Purcell was born in North Adams, Massachusetts on January 19, 1914, the daughter of Hector Heroux and Mary Jane Lanoue.
She married Francis J. Purcell, deceased, on July 30, 1933 at St. Joseph Church in Cohoes, NY and proceeded to dedicate herself as a wife and mother. “Mim was predeceased by three of her four siblings, Dora St. Pierre, Henry Heroux and Celia Heroux Bechand as well as two of her own children, Kenneth J. Purcell and Joyce Purcell Mannix. She is survived by her brother, Leo Heroux, her son, Very Rev. Robert H. Purcell, eight grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. Also surviving are special friends and caregivers, Mary Ellen Scudder, Sally Jensen, Wanda Wright and Trudy Klapper.
Affectionately referred to as “Father Bob’s Mom,” a title she wore proudly, “Mim” was a dynamic woman with numerous accomplishments in her own right. She served as secretary-treasurer for Purcell Express Corp., maintained an affiliation with the United Textile Union and honed her skills as a superb seamstress with Niernberg-Salzman.
Extracurricular activities included membership in the United Commercial Travelers of America and the Roxbury Senior Citizens Group. Constantly looking beyond herself to foster others, her volunteer efforts were directed toward St. Ann’s Society of St. Joseph, The Mother of Priests Guild; Margaretville Hospital Hospitality Shop and Auxiliary and the Mother’s Club of Christian Brothers Academy. Never one to sit idle, her hobbies included sewing and crocheting in addition to sharpening her wits solving puzzles.
To know Very Rev. Robert H. Purcell, the former pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Margaretville, would make it impossible not to recognize the powerful bond of love nurtured in the mother and son partnership. For 40 years, “Mim” was by his side. Her organizational talents served Father Bob and the Parish well as she balanced her roles as finance secretary and hostess/housekeeper extraordinaire, never flinching when asked to entertain 80 to 100 guests for dinner. As she greeted parishioners by name each Sunday, her natural charm was displayed as warmth radiated from her kind smile.
While dealing with his own serious illness many years ago, Father Bob shared his secret with his congregation. He had fought valiantly for life in order to remain her companion. Simply stated, “she needed him.” Possessing a keen sense of humor throughout her life, she lightheartedly queried him recently as to how it happened they had grown old…She chuckled at her own jest and prompted, “but we’ve certainly had fun.”
It is appropriate that memorial services will be held at her residence, Villa Shalom, in Roxbury. “Mim” Purchell will lie in state from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 14. A Mass of the Resurrection will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 15 at Our Lady’s Chapel in Villa Shalom. A celebration of her life will be held immediately following the ceremony.
Donations in memory of Aldea H. Purcell may be made to St. Colman’s Home, Inc., 11 Haswell Road, Watervliet, NY 12189.
Arrangements are by the Miller Funeral Home, Roxbury.