Betty P. Purnell

October 1, 1935 ~ January 5, 2019 (age 83)

BETTY PATRICIA PURNELL, daughter of the late George McCoy and Helen Jeannette Johnson, was born on October 1,1935 in Baltimore, MD. She departed this life on January 5, 2019 after a brief illness at her home with her daughter Terry by her side. 

Betty accepted Jesus Christ at a young age and attended several churches until she joined First Baptist Church in 1974. She was a faithful member who served on various committees including the Hospitality/Planning and Willing Workers until her health failed.

Betty was educated in the Baltimore City School System and attended Dunbar Senior High School. There she met and married the love of her life Leon Purnell and from that union seven children were born. Betty being the eldest of seven children she took on the role of mother after the early death of her mother. She also took care of other children her mother had taken in who became her "brothers'for life Percell, George and Dennis.

Betty's life became a labor of love and her door was always open. Her love for kids was always undeniable. Mrs. Gross the Principal of Johnson. Square Elementary School adored Betty and noticed how she always kept a watchful eye on all of the kids who were left in her care. In the late 60's Betty became a volunteer and then was offered a job as a Teacher's Aide at St. James & St. John School and Madison Square Elementary. In 1980, she worked as a cook for the V.T. Williams Daycare Center where she eventually retired. She was loved by many parents who would often join their kids for breakfast because they loved her cooking.

During her spare time Betty serve on the Comprehensive Child Committee at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was a faithful member of the Epislon Social Club for years, she loved these ladies and their annual trips, family gatherings and cocktail sips.

She is survived by her seven children Leon "Cliff" (Denise) Purnell, Stephen (Marcina) Purnell, Merrial (Michael) Alston, Gregory "Tyrone" (Crystal) Purnell, Eric (Beatrice) Purnell, Grayling Purnell and Terry Purnell; 22 grandchildren, 36 great grand children, 20 great-great-grandchildren; two sisters, Pamela Queen and Constance Jenkins; one brother-in-law Ralph Purnell Sr.; one sister-in-law, Alma Vice; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Preceding her in death were, her husband Leon Purnell, three brothers, Rodney Johnson, Joseph T. Johnson, Walter Johnson, one sister Karen Redd, one niece/daughter, Portia M. Johnson. 

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