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Samuel Edward Purvis
November 29, 1958 ~ October 30, 2023 (age 64) 64 Years Old
Samuel Edward Purvis, husband to Jennifer (Kish) and father of Carly Purvis, concluded his journey in this life on October 30, 2023, a mere month shy of his 65th birthday. He peacefully took his last breaths in the presence of family while at home in the care of St. Luke’s hospice program. Sam had been successfully battling a 2021 diagnosis of squamous cell cancer until it was too aggressive in the final weeks.
Born in Marion, Indiana, on November 29, 1958, to parents Rollie K and June (Burgess) Purvis; Sam was the eldest son and middle of five children: Pam Gunyon, Terri Fortner, Vonna Wadell, and Tracey Purvis. A 1977 graduate of Marion High School, Sam evaded all family efforts to work at the Bell Fiber factory and instead found employment with a local plumbing company while attending college for a fire science degree. An avid outdoorsman, Sam was elated at the age of 22 when he passed the exams and interviews and was invited to train as a conservation officer (game warden) for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He served multiple Indiana counties as an officer before accepting a position to serve in the downtown office as the hunter education coordinator. Sam’s diligence to make his own path found him taking on duties such as the snowmobile, ATV, and boater safety education as those sports grew in popularity; supporting the radical idea of mountain biking in Indiana parks and properties; implementing the upstart program Becoming an Outdoors Woman; designing a hunter education instructor training program and updated manuals; conferring with companies like Gore-Tex, Sig Sauer, and Boston Whaler to best outfit officers for their daily duties; attending the FBI National Academy (Session #223); and serving as a liaison to the Indiana Legislature on issues related to the division. Ever the trend setter, Sam was known for having the newest tech gadget, wearing fashionable attire, and locating the best new place to eat. The office was awash in unused sticky notes and paperclips upon his retirement in May 2009 at the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Sam spent his retirement doing all the things folks dream to experience: bought a new Buell traveling motorcycle for long trips (wrecked it) and then bought a Harley Davidson cruiser (still not a scratch); went RV camping with his wife and the dog; acquired a double-wide trailer in Florida to fish and watch sunsets; visited Yellowstone NP annually; scootered thru Bonaire; attended MLB spring trainings; broke a few ribs bombing down Bogus trails on a mountain bike; attended numerous youth soccer/basketball/football games for niece/nephew; tried crabbing in Oregon; took up cross-country skate skiing; grew a beard (no a BEARD!!); joined a wine club; worked at Cabela’s for the discount; bought a smoker and smoked EVERYTHING; attended cooking demos with Trisha Yearwood and Steve Raichlen; read books and more books; met author Craig Johnson; went to amazing concerts; tested out any brewery he could find; traveled to Alaska, Hawaii, Ireland, Mexico,…; and along the way he befriended so many people. He made cookies for his health care staff, took coworkers for coffee, created home-made spices for friends, eradicated 250 pounds of Boise goatheads, donated books to the little libraries along his walks, and shoveled sidewalks and driveways for his neighbors. No task was too small or insignificant if it helped someone else have a better day.
A celebration of his life will be held on his birthday Wednesday, November 29, 2023, at his Boise residence from 4:00-7:00 p.m. (A spring celebration will be forthcoming for friends and family in Indiana.) Please join us in celebrating his life, in his way – with a party, and share stories of your adventures with our beloved Sam, Sammy, Samuel, Pops, Gman!
If you would like to honor Sam’s memory in his “pay it forward” style, please consider a donation or service to programs that meant a lot to him: the Boise Bicycle Project (boisebicycleproject.org), the Indiana Becoming an Outdoorswoman program (indianabow.com), or the American Cancer Society for all the assistance it gives to those in need.