Cover photo for Evelyn S. Purdy's Obituary
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1910 Evelyn 2017

Evelyn S. Purdy

April 13, 1910 — November 5, 2017

Evelyn Sophia (Hansen) Purdy died quietly on Sunday, November 5th, at Meadowview Memory Care in Greeley, Colorado after a long, full life of 107 years and 7 months.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 A.M. Friday at St. Pauls Lutheran Church, Grand Island. The Rev. Bill Pavuk will officiate. Burial will be in the Grand Island Cemetery.

Visitation will be Friday from 10:30 A.M. until service time at the church.

Evelyn was born April 13, 1910 to Lars Peter Hansen and Mary Barbara (Juel) Hansen in St. Paul, Nebraska. She grew up on a farm outside Farwell and attended Farwell High School where she was active in basketball, forensics and theater. During her sophomore year, the Farwell Girls Basketball Team won the state championship in their division, but the following year the school board disbanded the team because they feared basketball was too strenuous for young women. She received her high school diploma in 1928.

After graduating, she moved to Grand Island where she studied and apprenticed in cosmetology at the Bluebird Beauty Shop. She then joined the Wagnor School of Cosmetology as an instructor and hair stylist. In 1931, she received her license in cosmetology from the Nebraska Department of Health.

On February 13, 1942, she married Francis Henry Purdy in Portsmouth, Virginia, and they were married 62 years. It was WWII and two weeks after they were married her husband was sent to Iceland with the Navy. She returned to Grand Island and resumed her work as owner and hair stylist with the Le Grande Beauty Shop and Barber Shop. Nineteen months later, her husband was transferred to the Naval Hospital in Pensacola, Florida, where she joined him and worked as a hair stylist with the Pensacola Beauty Shop until he was transferred again to the Marines and sent to Camp Pendleton, California for training. She returned to Grand Island and resumed her work and supporting the war effort by serving as a contact for the F.B.I. in the Grand Island area.

After her daughters were born, Evelyn worked intermittently until they were in school full-time, and then she opened Evelyns Beauty Shop which she maintained until she retired in 1973. She loved her profession and continued to study and improve her skills throughout her lifetime. In 1981, she was recognized by the state of Nebraska for 50 years of cosmetology service and she continued to hold her license and work until 2002.

In 2008, at age 98, her daughters encouraged her to move closer to family and she moved to Greeley, Colorado with great reluctance. A Cornhusker through and through, she continued to wear Husker red and had a Huskers license plate on her walker. In Greeley, she loved to go out for coffee or lunch with her family and friends and attended many musical concerts and special events in the area. She was known for her beauty, gracious friendly spirit, kindness, hugs and the full candy dish she always had available. She quickly made new friends while being completely devoted to her old ones.

Mrs. Purdy was a member of St. Pauls Lutheran Church and Naomi Circle in Grand Island. She served as a Girl Scout Leader for five years, was a member and Worthy Matron of The Order of Eastern Star Andrew Chapter 41; President of the Past Worthy Matrons Club; member and Queen of the Daughters of the Nile Naamah Temple 108; President of the Past Queens Club and a Supreme Appointee for the Daughters of the Nile. She was also a member of Altrusa and P.E.O. Chapter CK. In Greeley she attended the First Congregational Church of Greeley and Our Saviors Lutheran Church while maintaining her Grand Island membership in St. Pauls Lutheran Church. The support of Our Saviors Lutheran and St. Pauls Lutheran was unfailingly helpful to her and her family during her final years.

Our mother lived an extraordinary life encompassing over 107 years. At the time she was born, the telephone was just invented; electricity and indoor plumbing had not yet arrived in rural areas and in only a few cities; the airplane and automobile were new inventions and penicillin hadnt been discovered. She remembered clearly her life as a little girl on a Nebraska farm, the Great Depression, hearing about WWI and living through WWII and all the wars that followed. Her family was blessed to have her for so many years and they will miss her love, loyalty, strong Christian faith, practical wisdom, comforting words, hugs, constant support and the beauty and joy she brought to their lives and the lives of so many others. She created a lovely, warm, welcoming home for her family and her many friends who could always find a glass of wine or cocktail and something delicious to eat.

Evelyns family wishes to thank Meadowview Memory Care and Accent Hospice for the constant gentle, loving care she received from her many caregivers, especially during her last days; the beautiful, supportive home The Bridge Assisted Living provided for her for over 8 years; the unfailing support of Our Saviors Lutheran and Pastor John Knutson and Barb Schneider; the many notes, cards and church letters Evelyn received from St. Pauls Lutheran and her friends in Naomi Circle; and the many friends in Greeley who welcomed her and brought beauty into her life.

Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Francis; two sisters, Georgina Christensen and Sophia Hansen; two brothers, Charles and Edison Hansen; and two half-brothers, William and Sherman Hansen.

She is survived by her daughters Charmaine (John) Coppom and Francine (Bruce) Clayton and four grandchildren: Michael (Jessica) Coppom, Jonathan (Amanda) Coppom, Sarah (Nathaniel) Simon and Beth (Nicholas) George, and seven great-grandchildren, Simone Isabella Coppom, Zadie Quinn Coppom, Paisley Frances Coppom, Evelyn Ann Simon, Grace Ruth Simon, Clayton Redford Atticus George and Caroline Renn Arden George.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. Pauls Lutheran Church or the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Evelyn S. Purdy, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

funeral services

Friday, November 10, 2017

Starts at 10:00am (Central time)

St. Paul's Lutheran Church

705 A Street, Shelton, NE 68876

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