Meadville Tribune

February 28, 2013

Joseph J. (EZ-Joe) Purnell Sr.

Meadville Tribune

CONNEAUT LAKE — Joseph J. (EZ-Joe) Purnell Sr., 76, of Conneaut Lake, passed away suddenly Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, at Meadville Medical Center.

He was born Nov. 11, 1936, in Lawrenceville, a son of William H. and Mary Ellen Saxinger Purnell. He married Mary Pounds on Aug. 15, 1998.

Joe was a very proud U.S. Marine Corps veteran, serving from 1954 to 1958. Following his honorable discharge, he worked in the steel mills at J & L Steel, Pittsburgh, and subsequently moved to Washington, D.C., in 1960 and worked for the D.C. Transit as a street car operator. In 1961, he moved to Santa Monica, Calif., and worked for the Metropolitan Transit Authority as a bus driver, retiring in 1985.

Joe was a member of Our Lady Queen of the Americas Church, Conneaut Lake. He additionally was a proud member of the Marine Corps League, Conneaut Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. Station 3, Pymatuning Sportsman’s Club, Conneaut Lake Sportsman’s Club, Conneaut Lake Historical Society and the American Legion.

He was a volunteer at the Custaloga Town Scout Reservation with the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. He was always ready to share his scouting skills and his love of art with many nieces, nephews and others. He enjoyed boating on Conneaut Lake with his pontoon boat.

Survivors, in addition to his loving wife, Mary, include three sons, Michael Purnell and his wife, Bernadette, of Lancaster, Calif., Joseph Purnell Jr. and his wife, Christy, of Mountain View, Calif., and Thomas Purnell and his wife, Kate, of Valencia, Calif.; a daughter, Holly Moskowitz and her husband, Allan, of Canyon Country, Calif.; two stepdaughters, Denise Ballard and her husband, Jeff, of Saugus, Calif., and Michelle Straughan and her husband, Bill, of Santa Clarita, Calif.; a stepson, Aaron Luke Klein of Coalinga, Calif.; two brothers, Thomas Purnell and William Purnell, both of Pittsburgh; four sisters, Mary Ellen Purnell, Alice Niggl and her husband, Tom, Pat Shanahan, and Maxine Leist, all of Pittsburgh; 10 grandchildren, Hannah, Michaela, Conner, David, Anthony, Julianna, Joshua, Jonah, Noah and Lindsay; six step-grandchildren, Kimberly, Ryan, Stephen, Andrew, Brittany and Hannah; a great-grandson, James Hunter; a sister-in-law, Claire Purnell of Pittsburgh; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Anna Straka; and a brother, John Purnell.

Calling hour will be March 9 from 11 a.m. to noon at Our Lady Queen of the Americas Church, 155 S. Ninth St., Conneaut Lake, where a Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at noon with Fr. Steve Anderson as celebrant.

Interment will be in Our Lady Queen of the Americas Cemetery with military honors provided by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2006, Meadville.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Sharing and Caring Inc. (Adopt a Veteran Program), PO Box 2616, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15230-2616; or Toys for Tots, 654 Arch St., Suite C-001, Meadville, Pa. 16335 or online at

Arrangements are under the direction of Waid-Coleman Funeral Home, 12422 Conneaut Lake Road, Conneaut Lake, where you may share a memory or condolence at