Father John Purtell, 80, of Dubuque and formerly of Sumner, died Tuesday, November 19, 2013, at Stonehill Care Center in Dubuque.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11:00 a.m. Friday, November 22, 2013, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Sumner. Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery in New Hampton. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 21, 2013, at the church where a rosary will be recited at 4:00 p.m. and scripture service held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday. Visitation will also be held for one hour preceding services at the church on Friday. Becker-Milnes Funeral Home in Sumner is assisting Father Purtell’s family.
John Joseph Purtell, son of John J. Sr. and Lena Salz Purtell, was born January 24, 1933, at Oelwein, Iowa. He graduated from Visitation High School at Stacyville and Loras College in Dubuque. Following military service, he taught school at Turkey Valley. He later graduated from Mount Saint Bernard Seminary in Dubuque and was ordained June 1, 1968, at St. Raphael Cathedral in Dubuque by the Most Rev. J.J. Byrne.
Father Purtell served many parishes in northeast Iowa: Sacred Heart in Oelwein, St. Paul’s in Worthington, St. Patrick’s in Waukon, St. John the Baptist in Westridge, St. Joseph’s and Marquette High School in Bellevue, St. Anthony in Dubuque, St. Patrick’s in Monti, All Saints in Rowley, Immaculate Conception in Sumner, St. Francis Xavier in Hawkeye, and St. Francis of Assisi in Fayette. He also served as part-time chaplain at the Mental Health Institute in Independence.
Father John is survived by one brother, James Purtell of Marion; and one sister, Patricia Schrage of Cresco.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Mary and Sister Nora Purtell; and one brother, Rev. Thomas Purtell.