Dallas I. “Buzz” Purnell

Buzz Purnell obit picDallas “Buzz” I. Purnell died Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at Bishop Place in Pullman following a courageous battle with cancer. He was 75.

Buzz was born March 11, 1940 in Moscow to Willie and Arnona Flanigan Purnell. He grew up and attended Moscow schools.

He served in the U.S. Army in Germany for three years working with tanks and artillery. Following his discharge, he returned to Moscow and worked in auto detailing. He got into brick laying and opened his own business, Purnell Masonry, retiring 2 ½ years ago. He was well known for his incredible workmanship. He also owned and operated the Slurp & Burp Tavern for a while. Buzz loved his dogs (Cody & Brandy) and took them everywhere.

He enjoyed the outdoors, especially, camping, snowmobiling, water skiing, boating, hiking and four wheeling. He had every kind of toy a man could want. He enjoyed life to the fullest and loved his family and friends. He belonged to the Eagles and Moose Lodges in Moscow.

Surviving are his daughter Shelley Gress (Gary Toppi and daughter MeLina) in San Diego; his son Corey Purnell (Leslie) of Moscow, and his sister Carol Barbour (John) in Spokane Valley, he also leaves nieces Ronda Hashim in Millcreek, and Stacy Harshberger in Spokane Valley.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Ron & Larry, and nephew Steve.

The family suggests memorials be donations to the Humane Society of the Palouse.

A graveside service was held on Friday at the Moscow Cemetery. A celebration of Buzz’s life will begin at 5:00 PM Saturday (January 30th) at the Moscow Eagles Lodge, 123 South Main St., Moscow.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel, Moscow, and online condolences may be sent to www.shortsfuneralchapel.net.


14 Responses to Dallas I. “Buzz” Purnell

  1. Kenneth & Joyce Purnell says:

    We were so sorry to hear of your loss, our prayers and thoughts are with you. He lived his life to the fullest and enjoyed every minute. He will be missed by all.

    • Shelley (Purnell) Gress says:

      Dear Kenny and Joyce,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Dad is one in a million and will be greatly missed!

  2. James Mitchell says:

    My condolences to his family and friends as we lost a really terrific friend and father.

    Buzz and I were in the army together in the early 60’s in Augsburg Germany, then life happened and we lost touch, but reconnected a few years ago. Certainly he will be missed by his family and friends. Buzz was always a gentelman, had a smile on his face, and fun to hang out with. I deeply regret we didn’t get to see each other again and I will miss our conversations, but I will always remember his smile and zest for life.

    May god bless his loved ones at this sad time.

    Jim Mitchell

    • Shelley (Purnell) Gress says:

      Dear Jim-

      I am so sorry that you and Dad weren’t able to connect on the phone…..I did tell him that you and I had been in contact. The flowers from you, Caroline and Sherry are with Dad at the cemetery. I am so glad that we were able visit with each other! We will all have to plan a get together….I would love to hear more stories about Dad. Please keep in touch!

  3. Kate Grinde says:

    My condolences to Buzz’s family. Buzz did some work for us and I was so impressed by his attention to detail and pleasant manner. I was nervous about asking him to correct some work his crew had done and when I came home to talk to him about it, he had already noticed it himself and corrected the situation. It made my day and I often mention him as a craftsman who epitomized the best of them.

    • Shelley (Purnell) Gress says:

      Thank you Kate! He was a wonderful father as well as a mason and he left a wonderful architectural “legacy” all around Moscow and the Northwest……

  4. Carmen Miller [Childers] says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Shelley and Cory as I know how hard this is loosing a parent I just went through the same thing last month with my mother its a comfort knowing hes in a better place and no longer in pain and reuniting with the rest of his family.

    • Shelley (Purnell) Gress says:

      Dear Carmen,

      First, I am very sorry for your loss……I didn’t know until I was up there in Moscow and I am so very sorry…..

      Thank you for your condolences….

      • Reenie Arnold says:

        I am am sorry to hear about your father. I did not know him well, but he was a great guy with quick wit, a twinkle in his eye, and liked to tease the ladies (our crowd spent time with him at the ‘Burp), and he always waved to me in passing. And I know Cory.

        Peace and love to you and your family.

  5. Janet Knapik O'Connor says:

    Buzz had that smile that captured you as a friend from the first time you met him. Some girl friends and I were at the Tip Top one day and Buzz came in and wanted to know where we were from. I said that we were from Troy and he started teasing us and I just teased right back. Some of the others thought he was scary! This was early 1960s. In 1964 I married Bill Knapik and he was friends with the Purnell boys, they were great. Their sister is just Precious!
    Corey has that same smile to carry on the tradition. I have cherished his friendship and will miss it so much.
    My deepest sympathy goes to his family
    Live Life to the Fullest
    God’s Blessings

  6. Jerry Hylton says:

    So sorry to learn of buzz,s passing.I spent alot of time with all the Purnell family and miss all of them very much.My thoughts go out to all. Love Jerry

    • Shelley (Purnell) Gress says:

      Hi Jerry-

      Thank you for your condolences…..the Purnell Family is quite a “one of a kind” bunch that’s for sure….. and they are all missed! Uncle Larry, Uncle Ron, Grandma and Grandpa and now Dad…….

      Take care,

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