Walter Ernest Purdy, 87, formerly of Newport, died Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at South County Hospital in Wakefield, RI. He was the husband of Cathleen Nagle Purdy who predeceased him. Born in Newport on October 21, 1935, he was the son of Doris and Walter Purdy and had two brothers, Robert and Charlie Purdy.
Mr. Purdy grew up in the Point and lived in Newport most of his life. He was a graduate of Rogers High School and Bryant College in Smithfield, RI. He enlisted in the US Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Germany. After his military service he worked at Quonset Point and then for Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, CT, where he worked on the VH-3D program. Returning to Newport he worked for the Naval Underwater Systems Center (NUWSC). He retired from NUWSC and became Director of the Navy’s Magnetic Silencing Facility in New London, CT.
He is survived by his son, Walter Purdy III of Fairfax, Va., daughters Elizabeth Bastiani of Wilmington, NC, Cathleen Farrea of Portsmouth, Anne Purdy Dzwill of West Palm Beach, Fla., and the late Patricia Ryan, 13 grandchildren and 1 great-grandaughter.
Visitation will be held from 4-7 pm on Monday, February 4, 2019 at the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport. A Mass of Christian burial will be Tuesday, February 5, at St. Mary’s Church, Newport at 10:00 am. Burial will follow at St. Columba Cemetery, 465 Brown’s Lane, Middletown.
Throughout his life he was heavily involved in the Knights of Columbus and the 4th Degree Assembly, serving as Grand Knight and numerous other positions. Donations in his memory can be made to Knights of Columbus Council 256, 7 Valley Road, Middletown, RI 02842 to continue their works of charity.