"Jackie" Jack Francis Purcell, 90, Algona, died peacefully on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. Visitation is at 10 a.m., and a Celebration of Life Service is at 11:15 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, at Lentz Funeral Home, 403 E. McGregor St., Algona. The burial will follow soon after at Riverside Cemetery. A Meal will be served at Grace Church, 1923 E McGregor St., Algona.
Jack was born Jan. 11, 1929, in Mt. Pulaski, Ill., to Everett and Dorothy (Dunn) Purcell. Jack had six other brothers and three sisters. Born deaf at birth, Jack attended the Illinois School for the Deaf and graduated high school in 1947. Jack loved being a Boy Scout and finished as an Eagle Scout. While in high school he took three years learning printing as a vocation. After graduating, he spent a year running a hand-fed press at the Lincoln Courier, and then took off for Chicago to look for a new job. Baumgartner Printing Co would be the next business he would work for. Jack said, It was a hugh printing plant. My first job was to print nude girls on calendars, and I was so shy that I just couldn’t do that, so I quit on my second day. Soon he took a job at DyDee Wash and worked there for almost four years. This was a diaper cleaning and delivery service; no disposable diapers back then.
A change in vocation was imminent, and Jack moved on to Charles City, where he spent six months at the Midland Linotype School. An ad in Publishers Auxiliary then drew him to Algona and an interview with R.B. Waller, owner/publisher of Algona Publishing Co. Russ asked Jack at his interview if he could set two galleys of type in an hour. Jack fudged a bit, answered, "Yes, I think so," and had himself a job as the Linotype operator. Wasn't long, and Waller realized he was a galley short each hour, but let him stay on, and Jack gradually learned to type faster. He worked for this company for another 53 years, retiring at the age of 77.
It was in 1956 when Jack went to a five-state softball tournament for the deaf in Fort Dodge that he met his future wife, Doris, who was from Sioux Falls, S.D. She, too, is deaf. They began to date, and Jack would drive to Sioux Falls on weekends to see Doris. They were married the next year on Sept 1, 1957, and eventually had five children: Dan, Deb, Tom, Susan and Jim.
Printing was not Jack Purcell's entire life. Jack was active with the Mascia Club of the Deaf in Mason City; the North Central Club of the Deaf, Fort Dodge; vice president of the Iowa Association for the Deaf; and a member of the National Association of the Deaf. He also served on the Deaf Services Commission of Iowa for 15 years. Jack was an active leader in the church they attended in Algona, too. Jack was a true servant to all people.
Jack Is survived by Doris, his wife of 61 years; daughter, Deb Brody and her two children; Dan Purcell and his wife Shawn and his five step-children; Tom Purcell and wife Joni and his three children and three step-children; and Jim Purcell and wife Kerstin. He is also is survived by three brothers, Alfred, Everett and Jerry; a sister, Loriene; 15 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
Jack was proceeded in death by his daughter, Susan Purcell; grandsons, Zachary Purcell and Jack Purcell; and great-grandson, Xander Brody.