James Martin Purcell, DDS

Published 3:11 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2017

James Martin Purcell, DDS, 82, died peacefully Monday, Jan. 30, 2017 at LaurelWoods Assisted Living Facility in Columbus, N.C.

Dr. Purcell was born in Flint, Mich. on Oct. 12, 1934 to Donald and Catherine Purcell. He graduated from St. Michael’s Catholic High School in Flint in 1952, and from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1959. After graduation he married Marilyn A. Sawicki. He was a Captain in the U.S. Army and spent three years in Frankfurt, Germany.

Upon returning from Germany he set up dental practice in Clio, Mich. where he practiced for 26 years, serenading his patients to rock music playing in the background.

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jamespurcellwebDr. Purcell and his beloved wife Marilyn (aka The Polish Princess) moved to Tryon, N.C. in 1995.

Dr. Purcell’s skill as an animal trainer began when he was 12 years old; while caring for the neighbor’s dog he taught it to jump the fence.

Dr. Purcell was an accomplished horseman who showed hunters, jumpers, eventing and dressage.

Dr. Purcell loved animals, opera, the Olympics, chocolate, and a stiff martini. When asked how he was, he would likely tell you — in his clear deep baritone — that he was “just too good to be true.”

He is survived by his son, Thomas Hunter Purcell, his grandchildren Tineka Rowe and James Purcell, his great grandchildren Alahana Smith, Alexandria Smith, and Issac Purcell, his sisters Elizabeth Jean Flynn and Donna Marie Kuhl.

He provided top-notch, loving dental care to all of his nieces and nephews: Kelly Flynn and Kerry Flynn, Linda Kirkey McKay, Kim Kuhl Spalla, Lori Kuhl, James Kuhl, Gail Kuhl, Michael Winston, Cathy Winston and Susan Winston Conklin. He is preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn, his sister Shirley Winston, and his mother and father.

At Dr. Purcell’s request there will be no memorial service. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to an organization of unsurpassed experience, warmth and caring, Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, 130 Forest Glen Rd., Columbus, NC.

Submitted by Kelly Flynn