Jack Hollett Purdie
July 5, 1925 - November 28, 2022
Jack passed away peacefully at the age of 97 after a 3 month illness and a brief stay at Cottage Hospice in Vancouver.
He was born in Edmonton, Alberta at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, where his father was working. He was the oldest of 4 siblings. He made a decision to follow Jesus at the age of 8, and that shaped the course of his life and character.
He volunteered to join the RCAF during WWII to join his father, serve his country and support his family. Trained as a tail gunner, he served in England until just before VE Day.
On his return home he worked many jobs, and met Shirley Gordon, his “Million Dollar Baby”. She was the love of his life, and they soon married and moved to Vancouver to pursue his education as a minister. He earned a Bachelor of Religious Education in 1955.
Pastor Jack served in churches in Benalto, Edmonton, Edson, Calgary, Ladner, and Squamish before retiring and starting a whole new career of volunteer work that took him to churches in Armstrong, Nanaimo, Tumbler Ridge and Vancouver. He also spent his summers as Camp Grandfather at Camp Qwanoes. He and Shirley travelled around North America leading Marriage Encounter weekends. Each winter he took on the role of Santa. He helped create Community Christmas Care in Squamish. He visited schools each year in November to speak as a Veteran. Eventually Jack and Shirley truly retired when they moved to Shannon Oaks in Vancouver and joined the community at Faith Baptist Church. Even to the end of his long life, many people counted Jack as a spiritual father, grandfather, mentor and friend. His humour, kindness and caring will always be remembered warmly, along with his love of music and of bringing people together.
Jack received medals for his military service and was honoured by the Governor General with the Award of Merit and Silver Wolf for his many years of volunteering with the Boy Scouts of Canada. However, the trophies that meant the most to him were people whose lives had been changed as he helped them and introduced them to the God he loved.
Jack and Shirley were happily married for 67 years until her death in 2019. They had 3 children; Murray (Sue), Danay (Dean), and Colleen (Shawn). They delighted in their 7 grandchildren and 5 great grands; Sarah, Jeremy, Brennan, Aaron, Adriana, Tess, Ben, Julie, Carrie, Jocelyn, Justin and Andrew, and were also blessed to have many other chosen family (Julianne), nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his father, Harry, mother Pearl, siblings Grace, Harry and Paul.
In lieu of flowers, Jack would request that you reach out and do a kind deed to help someone in need during this Christmas season.
Service will be available on You tube at ffbc Vancouver