Thomas William Purtell, son of John J. Sr. and Lena Salz Purtell, was born August 4, 1927, at Waterloo, Iowa. He received his education in the rural schools near Fairbank, Iowa, and after one year of high school entered Loras College in Dubuque where he graduated magna cum laude in 1949. He attended seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and was ordained in 1953.
Father Purtell served parishes in Calmar, Worthington, Elma, Webster City, Cedar Falls, Hudson, State Center, Story City, Zearing, Traer, Oxford Junction, and Lamont. In 2004, he entered the Hillcrest Home in Sumner where his death occurred early Friday morning, August 19, 2011. He was eighty-four years old.
He is survived by two brothers, Rev. John Purtell of Sumner and 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 (his twin) and Sister Nora Purtell.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, August 23, 2011, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Sumner celebrated by Archbishop Jerome Hanus, O.S.B. and Diocesan Priests. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery in New Hampton. Friends may call from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m., Monday, August 22, 2011, at Immaculate Conception Church in Sumner where there will be a rosary recited at 4:15 p.m. and scripture service held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday. Friends may also call for one hour preceding Mass at the church on Tuesday.