Michael L. “Purk” Purkey, 69, of Coal City, passed away Friday (Sept. 6, 2019) at the Joliet Area Community Hospice Home after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

He was born Aug. 22, 1950, in Kankakee, the son of Neil and Eileen (nee Skinner) Purkey. Michael grew up in the Kankakee area, graduating from Bradley–Bourbonnais Community High School.

Purk married LaVonne “Bonnie” Purkey on Feb. 15, 1989, in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

He worked for AT&T as a custom system technician, retiring after 41 years.

Purk had many interests, but his true passion was aviation. He earned his pilot’s license, enjoyed flying to visit family and at one time even built his own plane. He and Bonnie traveled to Reno every year to see the National Air Races and made great friends there who they named their “Reno Family.”

He was an avid sports fan, rooting for the Chicago Bears and the Chicago White Sox. He played baseball most of his life, coached Little League and later played with the “After 40 League.” Purk’s most important interest, though, was his family. He was devoted to his wife, children and grandchildren. He enjoyed watching the kids and grandkids in their sports and activities and taking them on rides on the pontoon.

Surviving are his wife of 31 years, Bonnie; his daughters, Holly (Michael) McDaniel, of Coal City, Shannon Purkey, of Streamwood, and Katie (Carl) Farris, of Streator; son, Michael (Jennie) Purkey, of Richmond, Va.; grandchildren, Lindsey VanWinsen, Timothy VanWinsen Jr., Michael McDaniel, Zachary Garza, Donovan Thompson, Sapphire Farris, Genevieve Farris, Edward Farris, Malcolm Farris, Caiden Purkey and Triston Purkey; great-grandchildren, Landon VanWinsen, Jameson Schell, Adelynn Armour and Brayden VanWinsen; his sister, Cheryl (Robert) Adams, of St. Anne; brothers and sisters-in-law, Jean Orr, of Rockdale, Jerry (Jackie) Siebersma, of Coal City, Linda (Tom) Adams, of Wilmington, and Dennis (Diane) Siebersma, of Coal City; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A “celebration of life” will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, at Ferrari Funeral Services, 1044 Ferrari Drive, Coal City, with “Memories of Purk” being shared at 7 p.m.

Please sign his online guestbook at ferrarifuneral.com.


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