SUBLETTE - Kenneth R. Purvis, 76, of Sublette, passed away Sept. 9, 2021 at Rochelle Community Hospital.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at First United Methodist Church, Mendota with Pastor Mary Bohall officiating. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at the Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota. Cremation rites will be accorded after the funeral and private family burial will be held at a later date at Restland Cemetery, Mendota.
Kenny was born June 16, 1945 in Mendota to Clarence and Beulah Purvis. He married his first wife, Janis Tuttle, on April 30, 1967. Kenny married his current wife, Barbi Brunner, on June 6, 1987.
Survivors include his wife, Barbi; four children, Janelle (Mike) Theisen of Sandwich, Amy Purvis of Bastrop, Texas, Julie (Brian) Greenberg of Phoenix, Ariz. and Kim Cleary of Paw Paw; 10 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; one sister, Colleen (Denny) Hagemann; and a sister-in-law, Linda Purvis.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Roger Purvis; a niece Lynette Purvis; a nephew, Jerry Hagemann; and one grandson, Jimmy Cleary.
Kenny grew up in LaMoille and graduated from LaMoille High School and then attended college in St. Louis. He worked at Hart Carter in Mendota and later opened his own business, Cuke Inc. He designed and patented the cucumber harvester and performed welding and fabrication for 31 years. He was very active in supporting his community as a lifetime member of the Mendota Elks, Moose and VFW clubs. He was the founding member of the Mendota Optimist Club. Kenny was also a 54-year director of the Tri-County Fair as well as the chairman of the Truck and Tractor Pulls. He was awarded an Excellence of Service award by the Illinois Department of Agriculture in 2017 for his involvement with the fair association. He was inducted into the LaSalle County Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2014. He and his wife, Barbi were also awarded the HD Hume award for outstanding service in 2015. In addition to his community and civic organizations, Kenny was an avid Nascar fan and enjoyed camping at their second home at Mendota Hills Campground. He was a master of the grill and could often be found serving up sweet corn or sandwiches as part of his community organizations or with his own business, Barbi and Ken’s concessions. Kenny, along with his wife Barbi, also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren attending their various sporting events and activities throughout the years.
Memorials can be made in Kenny’s honor for the family to choose a benefactor. Online condolences may be left at www.merrittfh.com.