William Purcell

Obituary of William James Edward Purcell

March 15, 1942 - Winnipeg, Manitoba

April 23, 2024 - Calgary, Alberta


William James Edward Purcell, beloved husband of Brandis Ellen Purcell (nee Kletke), of Calgary, AB, passed away on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at the age of 82 years.


Bill was born in Winnipeg, MB, and grew up in Ottawa, ON, where he attended Eastern Ontario Institute of Technology (EOIT). After his schooling, he worked at the nickel mines in Sudbury, ON, before moving to Calgary, AB, in 1967 (with his collection of jazz records in tow), where he worked on the seismic lines for Gulf Canada. Bill met and married Brandis (Kletke) in 1970, after which he worked in the data centre of Gulf Canada as an analyst for Western Canada. Bill was an associate member of the Royal Canadian Legion, in honour of his dad, William Purcell Sr.


He retired in 1995 and began a new avocation as an amateur palaeontologist. He was well-known at the Royal Tyrrell Museum as a knowledgeable collector. He attended many symposia and presentations at Mount Royal College and had enjoyable vacations in Montana’s Dinosaur Triangle. Bill spent many happy years tramping the hills of the Brooks and Drumheller area, from where he amassed an amazing collection of dinosaur fossils, some of which he reconstructed from pieces!


Mourning his passing are his wife of 53 years, Brandis, his children Aaron (Mary Whitmore) and Rachel (Aron Murphy); and his two greatly beloved granddaughters, Isabella and Genevieve; as well as his brother Dennis in Ottawa, his sister Katherine (Barry Sutherland) in Ottawa, his sister-in-law Rebecca Fabro in Lethbridge, his beloved nieces and nephews, his very good friends Steve Molnar and Steve Fairway, along with many good neighbours and friends.


Bill was predeceased in 2004 by his father William, in 2008 by his younger brother Michael, and in 2015 by his mother Jean.


He was a gentleman and a prince and will be sorely missed.


A gathering and Wake will be held for Bill at a later date; details to be announced.


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Bill’s family here.


In living memory of Bill Purcell, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, AB T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-276-2296.

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