YAKIMA, Wash. - The Rev. George A. Purdy, of Naches, Wash., formerly a priest at St. Jude's Catholic Church in Havre, died at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital after a fall in Naches.
A rosary and vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at St. John Catholic Church in Naches. A funeral Mass will be held at noon Friday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Yakima. A concluding service and burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mount St. Michael Cemetery in Spokane, Wash.
A native of Seattle, Purdy graduated from Seattle Preparatory School and entered the Society of Jesus, Jesuits, in 1940. His training for the priesthood included three years of teaching at Seattle Prep. He was ordained in St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Spokane in 1953.
During 50 years, Purdy served at St. Ignatius in Portland, Ore., St. Joseph in Seattle, St. Mary in Pendleton, Ore., St. Leo in Tacoma, Wash., St. Jude's in Havre, St. Stanislaus in Lewiston, Idaho, The Downtown Chapel in Portland, Ore., St. Joseph in Yakima and St. John in Naches. He also taught one year at Jesuit High School in Portland, and spent two years as manager/treasurer of St. Michael's Institute in Spokane.
Purdy was an artistic, multi-talented priest whose special interests were decorating and gardening, with a consuming interest in raising orchids. He had a special concern for the unfortunate. His ministry extended to prisoners in the Yakima County Jail, which he visited after Mass on Sundays. He was congenial, witty, approachable and generous with his time. He was a deeply devotional man, who had a decided influence on the spirituality of the parish.
Survivors include his sister, Eugenia “Gig” Brennan of Issaquah, Wash.; two nephews; and a niece.
Donations in his memory may be sent to the Jesuit Senior Fund, Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, P.O. Box 86010, Portland, OR 97286-0010.