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James C. Purkey “Pop” was born July 5, 1929, in Meeker, Colo., to John Frank Purkey and Josephine May Hawkins Purkey, passed away on July 25, 2008, surrounded by his family.
Jim attended school in Colorado and later graduated from Meeker High School in 1947.
He was very active in sports and lettered in most of them. He was a member of the FFA, Do-Si-Do Club and the Drama Club.
He was the student body president and voted most likely to succeed.
Jim served in the U.S. Navy for two years, in both Denver, Colo., and San Diego, Calif.
He worked with his family in the meat and livestock operation in Meeker, Colo.
Jim was also employed at the Spanish Fork Packing Plant and Deseret Meat plant for a combined 27 years.
After retirement he continued to cut meat until the age of 77.
He also worked in the Rifle and Craig sale yard and as an auctioneer.
He had many hobbies such as searching for Indian artifacts, farming, hunting, bull riding and other rodeo events. He also enjoyed serving on the rodeo committee and working with meat for the city celebrations and was well known for his pit barbecues.
Jim was married to Junabelle Barnett for 20 years, and they were divorced.
He is survived by his sons Jim (Jan) Purkey of Milburn, Utah, Jerry (Laurie) Purkey of Spanish Fork, Utah; daughter Kathy (Paul) Johnston of Spanish Fork, Utah, brother Bryce Purkey of Meeker, Colo., and his sisters Betty Mitchell of Murray, Utah, Beverly Peace of Carbondale, Colo., Janet Rippy of New Castle, Colo., and Saundra Murray of Silt, Colo., grandchildren Shane (Tracy) Bunker, Cristy Johnston, Nikki Purkey, Cassie Purkey, Shad (Lacey) Edwards, Cody Purkey and Paige Purkey, great-grandchildren Chase (Jenny) Bunker, Jacob Bunker, Kaitlyn Bunker, Jordon Simmons and his great-great-granddaughter Brindly Bunker.
He is preceded in death by his father John Frank Purkey, his mother Josephine May Hawkins Purkey, sisters Helen Karren, Patsy Purkey and brother Harry Purkey.