He was born April 16, 1939, in Coffeyville, Kans., to Helen Pantier and Raymond Purcell. Helen Pantier moved to Laramie and married James Nelson Besack in 1945, and together they raised their son, Rich.
He attained a high school diploma in 1958 at Casper Natrona High School and married Sharon Walker in 1967.
His passion in life was to fish, restore Oldsmobile cars, hunt elk, bowl and spend time with his children and three grandsons.
Family members treasure the memory of him restoring and painting older model cars in a showcase of his extraordinary talent that was truly inspirational. People who conversed with him and shared "stories" of cars understood that he was a private and kind-hearted man.
His strength and acceptance of his illness were demonstrative of his strong and gracious character.
Survivors include his son, Michael Purchell and his wife Virginia of Rapid City, S.D.; two daughters, Tori Purcell and Teri Miller, both of Rapid City; a brother-in-law, James (Mick) Walker of Powell; and four grandchildren, Tristin Martin, 19, Billings, Mont., Nicholas Purcell, 11, and Davis Purcell, 10, of Rapid City and Lane Miller, 9, of Rapid City.
His parents and wife preceded him in death.
In accordance with his request, he will be cremated and no services are planned. For those who wish, a memorial to the Young American Bowling Alliance may be sent in care of Michael Purcell, 127 East Centennial, Rapid City, SD 57701 and would be greatly appreciated by the family.