Keith Purscell

Monday, July 23, 2018

Mankato, Minnesota, resident, Keith William Purscell, 87, died Sunday, July 15, 2018, at New Perspective Senior Living in Mankato. Keith served as pastor of First Christian Church in Spencer from 1970-79.

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at the First Congregational UCC in Mankato on Sunday, Aug. 12, at 2:30 p.m. Visitation at 1:30. Coffee and snacks to follow. Burial will take place in Omaha, Nebraska, on Monday, Aug. 13.

Keith was born Feb. 12, 1931, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Benjamin and Marie Lowe Purscell. He graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs and then attended Johnson Bible College in Tennessee and Nebraska Christian College in Norfolk, Nebraska, receiving his B.A. degree in 1950. He later earned his Master of Divinity degree in 1970 from Philips University in Enid, Oklahoma.

Keith was ordained as a pastor in the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ in 1950. He served congregations in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and Minnesota, working for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. After his retirement from the Mankato Christian Church (Disciples), he continued to serve as an interim minister in several congregations nearby.

Keith and Mary Louise Elliott were married in May 1951 in Omaha. They sang together, worked together, and raised their family of four children together until she passed away in 1993. Keith married Helen Duncan in Mankato in June of 1994. They traveled and attended theater together until Helen’s death in 2014.

Keith liked singing, photography, theater, fishing and traveling, but especially loved the church.

He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Mary Louise (Elliott); and second wife, Helen (Duncan).

He is survived by his children: Kenneth (Koni) Purscell of Appalachia, Virginia, Sally (Gregory) Hackett of San Antonio, Texas, Dave (Kim) Purscell of Owatonna, Minnesota, and Glenda Purscell of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; grandchildren: Karli Purscell (fiancée Miguel Zepeda), Kendra (Terrance) Purscell-Jackson, Benjamin (Rebecca) Hackett, Colin (Kelsey) Hackett, Sam Purscell, Matt Purscell and Nathan Purscell; great-grandchildren: Tristan Purscell and Landon Hackett; one brother, Delano (Phyllis) Purscell of Newtown, Pennsylvania.