Dean R. Purdie, a beloved member of the Faribault community, passed away peacefully at the age of 92. He departed this world on October 30, 2023, at home surrounded by family, leaving behind a legacy of love, kindness, and a life well-lived.
Dean was born January 28, 1931, in St. Lucas Hospital in Faribault, MN to Clarence Elgin Purdie and Irene E. Dow Purdie. Family was of utmost importance to Dean. He married the love of his life, Joan Carroll Langevin, on June 6, 1959 in Veseli, MN, and together they built a warm and loving home for their four children, Jeffrey, JoDeane, Jennifer and DeAhne and one sponsored child from Vietnam, Kim. After graduating from Faribault Senior High School in 1950, Dean’s passion for serving his country and his affinity for aircraft led him to join the Army Reserves, and later serve in the Air Force. After returning from military service in Morocco, Dean displayed remarkable dedication to his work and employees as a Vice President of Gopher Shooter’s Supply and Bonanza Sports Manufacturing.
Dean was a devoted husband and a loving father, cherishing each moment spent with his family. Often preaching “Spend as much time with your children as possible because they will be grown before you know it,” Dean took his family on multiple family vacations. During his retirement years, he and his wife Joan enjoyed traveling in their VW camper van, logging thousands of miles from Alaska to Sante Fe to Nova Scotia. They enjoyed hosting people from multiple countries in their home. To Dean, there were no strangers, only friends and friends to be made.
Outside of work and family, Dean had a deep love for the community of Faribault, generously contributing his time and energy. He served as a city councilmember for six years and Mayor for four years. He was very active in his father’s effort to plant thousands of walnut trees which were distributed and planted throughout Rice County. He shared his time and knowledge with the Rice County Historical Society to preserve information about his families’ two businesses and the dedicated employees who worked there. He was a past president and honorary lifetime member of Rotary, the founding member of a radio-controlled model airplane club and a member of the Faribo Flyers Bicycle club. He was an avid bicyclist and was instrumental in working to secure some of the land for the Minnesota trail system. He also participated in three humanitarian aid trips to El Salvador with Pastors for Peace. He was an endowment member of the NRA.
Dean is survived by his wife, Joan, of Faribault; four children, Jeffrey Purdie (Peggy), JoDeane Purdie (David Craine), both of Faribault, Jennifer Purdie of Massachusetts and DeAhne Purdie of Washington; one sponsored child, Kim Nguyen Hall Sevick (Gerald Sevick); five grandchildren, Gabriel Purdie (Katie), Eli Campbell, Aidan Campbell, David Hall (Roxanne), Bob Hall (Kim); eight great grandchildren, Tyler, Justin, Devin, Charlie, Brody and Hudson Hall, Kacidy and Finnley Purdie; brother, Bruce Purdie; and sister-in-law, Esther Purdie.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Keith Purdie and his sister-in-law, Patty Purdie; and Don Hall, father of David and Bob Hall.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, November 6, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at the Divine Mercy Catholic Church, 139 Mercy Drive, Faribault. Interment will be at the Calvary Cemetery in Faribault, with military honors provided by the Rice County Central Veterans Association.
Visitation will be held on Sunday from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Parker Kohl Funeral Home, 1725 Lyndale Ave. N., Faribault, and on Monday for one hour prior to the services at the church.