Cover photo for James Alexander Purdy's Obituary
1939 James 2024

James Alexander Purdy

December 15, 1939 — February 11, 2024

Waco, Texas

James (Jim) Alexander Purdy, 84, of Woodway TX, passed away Sunday, February 11, 2024.

Jim was born on December 15, 1939 in Ravenswood, WV to Juanita and Walter Purdy.  Upon graduating from Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg, WV, Jim entered the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (VPI) in Blacksburg, VA.  While at VPI, he met his future wife, Rita Sutherland, where they both sang in the collegiate choir at Blacksburg Baptist Church (BBC).  After earning a BS in Electrical Engineering (EE), Jim entered a two-year tour in the US Army, but ended up serving six.  He was considered to possess a critical military occupational specialty (MOS) and was a First Lieutenant, then Captain in the Signal Corps.  He served three years in Germany, was stationed at Fort Monmouth, NJ for a while and served a year in Vietnam.

Once his extended tour was completed, his EE degree was somewhat useless due to the fact that vacuum tubes were being replaced by transistors at that time.  He went on to also receive a BS in Physics, and a BS & MS in Accounting, all from VPI.  Jim worked at a CPA firm, then as a Budget Analyst in the VPI Administrative Offices, in Blacksburg, VA, but retired when Rita accepted a new position at Baylor University in Waco, TX in 1996.

In retirement, Jim spent countless hours volunteering for Meals on Wheels, singing for and overseeing the accounting needs of the Church (both BBC and Seventh & James in Waco), singing for and administering music for the Baylor Senior Adults Choir, and has given over 24 gallons of blood and palettes to the American Red Cross.

Jim’s final tour of duty came when his beloved wife for 42 years began showing signs of Alzheimer’s.  Jim was a devoted and kind-hearted caregiver for Rita until she passed in 2018.  We know he is once again with his sweetie, singing away.

Jim is survived and lovingly remembered by son Jay of Blacksburg, VA; son David, along with daughter-in-law Kristi and 2 grandsons, Joshua and Daniel of Centreville, VA; and son Jonathan of Charlotte, NC.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Juanita Purdy of Ravenswood, WV; and sister and her husband Catherine (Kay) and Bruce Cook of San Luis Obispo, CA.

A private graveside service and burial will be held at a future date in Ravenswood, WV, where he and Rita will rest alongside his extended family.  Those wishing to remember Jim in a meaningful and lasting way are encouraged to donate to the Sutherland-Purdy Endowed Scholarship at the Virginia Tech Foundation in Blacksburg, VA.


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