John Edward "John Ed" Purvis peacefully departed this world on February 22, 2019, surrounded by family at his home in Shipman, Virginia, at the age of 86. John Ed is survived by his devoted wife, Ruth Saunders Purvis, and passed away on their 65th wedding anniversary. He is also survived by his four children, Dr. Edward Sanford Purvis (Ellen) of South Boston, John Rayburn Purvis (Jenny) of Beaverdam, Elizabeth Purvis Shepard (Chris) of Shipman, and Martha Purvis Smith (Shane) of Midlothian; nine grandchildren, Jessica Vance (Geoff), Virginia Cook (Kevin), Martha Purvis, Joey Purvis (Hannah), Rachael Brown (Charlie), Sanford Shepard, Forrest Smith, Evelyn Smith, and Delia Shepard; one great-grandchild, Thacker Brown; sister-in-law, Betty Walker; many beloved cousins, including his best friend, Alvin "Skip" or "Skippy" Purvis, and nephews and nieces . He was preceded in his passing by his wonderful parents, Edward Sanford Purvis and Daisy Mays Purvis; and his brother, Sanford Ray Purvis. He viewed heaven as one big family reunion in the sky and looked forward to reuniting with his loved ones. John Ed was born on December 22, 1932, in Shipman, Virginia, and grew up on the family farm. He was proud to be the seventh generation to live on his family's land in beautiful Purvis Hollow. After graduating from Lovingston High School in 1950, he worked at Piney River Plant. In 1953, he joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In 1954, he married a Nelson County girl, the former Virginia Ruth Saunders, and they began their married life in Louisiana. Although John Ed loved the Air Force, he wanted all of their children to be born in Virginia, and in 1957, he and Ruth moved back home to Nelson County to begin raising a family. John Ed returned to Piney River Plant and was the Personnel Director there until the plant closed in 1970. John Ed then worked at Griffin Pipe in Lynchburg in personnel and later as Safety Director until his retirement in 1995. Retirement allowed John Ed to spend more time on his beef cows, which he raised from 1958 to 2012, and he was especially proud of his Hereford bull George. In addition to farming, in retirement John Ed enjoyed performing land use work for the Nelson County Commissioner of the Revenue from 1995 to 2012. John Ed always enjoyed supporting his community. He served on the Nelson County School Board for 18 years, was on the Board of Directors for the Nelson County Farm Bureau and the Amherst-Nelson Beef Cattle Association, served in numerous capacities at Nelson United Methodist Church, including the Administrative Council, Finance Committee, Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, and Membership Committee, and was active in many other organizations such as the Nelson County Public Library, the Nelson County Rotary, and Friends of Nelson. He was a member of the Fleetwood Harmony Masonic Lodge. John Ed enjoyed watching his grandchildren play sports, reading and sharing books with friends, and rooting for the New York Yankees. When he was growing up, John Ed loved to fish and hunt, especially with his bird dog Flirt. In his later years, he enjoyed socializing with his friends in the High Peak Hunt Club, particularly at the Saturday morning coffee clache. John Ed achieved over 37 years of sobriety through the support of AA and helped many others with their struggles with addiction. His family is so proud of him for that accomplishment. He was also one of the funniest people you would ever meet, and his family is forever indebted to him for all the times he made them laugh. We will all miss him but know he is still surrounded by family and friends and love and laughter. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, in the fellowship hall at Nelson United Methodist Church. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 28, 2019, at Nelson United Methodist Church. Interment at the Purvis Family Cemetery will be private due to parking constraints. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Nelson United Methodist Church Building Fund, attn Beth Goodwin, 5239 Thomas Nelson Highway, Arrington, VA 22922, Emanuel Youth Mission, attn Jonna Clarkson, P.O. Box 582, Lovingston, VA 22949, Virginia Organizing with Friends of Nelson and John Purvis in the memo line, attn Ron Enders, P.O. Box 33, Nellysford, VA 22958, or a charity of your choice. Arrangements under the direction of Wells/Sheffield Funeral Chapel, Lovingston, Va. (434-263-4097).

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