April 13, 1944 - February 20, 2023

Dwight H. Purcell, 78 of Middletown, RI, transitioned to be with the Lord after a long and courageous battle with heart disease.

He was born on April 13, 1944, in Newport, RI to William and Helen (Hampton) Purcell. He grew up in Newport where he attended the local school systems.

He was a member of the Spartan club, and the Newport Boys club, there he met John F. Kennedy before he became president and had a photograph with him, that was featured in the Newport Daily News.

Dwight joined the US Air Force on April 6, 1962. He traveled the world and received the Commendation Medal, Outstanding Unit Award, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Longevity Service Award Ribbon, and Small Arms Expert. He was honorably discharged on May 1, 1985, in Aurora, Colorado where he remained for 34 years after his 23 years of Military Service. During this time, he was employed at Denny’s Restaurant for 9 years until retiring due to illness. Dwight remained in Aurora, Colorado until returning home to Rhode Island in 2019 to be close to family.

Dwight is survived by his sister, Priscilla Doreen Williams and her husband Ellrony (Ron) Williams of Middletown RI, his nieces, Katheryn Imes of Goldsboro NC, Stephanie Williams of Newport RI, Halley Williams of Onset MA, his nephews, Jonathan Imes of Pawtucket, RI, Joseph Oliveira of Gardiner, ME, Theodore Oliveira of Hollis, MA, Christopher Oliveira of Sanford, ME, his brother-in-law, Kelsie Imes of Goldsboro, NC, and a host of great nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, William and Helen (Hampton) Purcell, sisters Mary E. Purcell and Helen E. (Purcell) Imes.

Dwight was a man that loved the Lord. He was an active member of the Central Baptist Church in Denver, Colorado where he served as a Deacon and sang in the Men’s Choir for many years. He kept in touch with his Colorado church family and friends by telephone, email and sending cards. He continued to faithfully participate in the churches Senior Warrior Ministry and their Prayer Line.

Upon returning to Newport Dwight was a member of the Community Baptist Church in Newport RI where he worshipped and served as a Deacon, cheerfully participating in Wednesday evening and Saturday morning Bible Studies. When he was unable to attend in person, he would watch the service on Zoom.

At the John Clarke Nursing Center, where he was a resident for the past four years, he would frequently be found helping the chaplain with the services and attending Bible Studies.

Dwight enjoyed playing his favorite card game (Bid Whist) with family and friends. He loved being on his computer and sending birthday cards to all. He looked forward to coming home to attend family reunions and catching up with childhood friends.

His family is very grateful for the exceptional care he received at The John Clarke Nursing Center for the past four years. Thank you for the passionate Hospice Care.

Funeral Services will be held Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 11:00am in the Community Baptist Church, 50 Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland Blvd., Newport, RI 02840. Burial will take place Monday, February 27, 2023, at 10:30 AM from the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport, followed by Military Honors and Committal Prayers at 11:30 AM at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 301 South County Trail, Exeter.

Donations in Dwight’s memory may be made to the Community Baptist Church Capital Campaign at 50 Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland Blvd., Newport, RI 02840, and The John Clarke Nursing Center Activities at 600 Valley Rd., Middletown, RI 02842.

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