Elizabeth Anne Purcell

June 18, 1929November 24, 2018

Elizabeth (Liz) Anne Purcell, 89, of Bloomington, born June 18, 1929, died on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington. Elizabeth is survived by her three grandchildren, Jason (Shelly) Matthews, Tisha (Jake) Van Horn and Heather (Micah) Johnson; her great-grandchildren, Rylee, Ayden, Sydnee Matthews and Elliot and Paxton Van Horn; her sister, Marianne Keough and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Penny Kathleen Matthews, her parents and five brothers. Elizabeth spent her career as a dedicated and loyal artist and senior designer working for Bennett/McKnight, Glencoe/Macmillan-McGraw Hill retiring in 1995. She was a lifetime member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and will be remembered for her special gift of painting, sewing and playing the piano. She also loved to travel filling her dream visiting Europe. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Thursday, November 29, 2018 at East Lawn Funeral Home. Following visitation, a committal service will be held at East Lawn Memorial Gardens. Memorials can be made to Humane Society of Central Illinois or to the Alzheimer’s Association. Online condolences may be shared with the family at


  • Humane Society of Central Illinois
  • Alzheimer's Association


  • Visitation Thursday, November 29, 2018
  • Committal Service Thursday, November 29, 2018

Elizabeth Anne Purcell

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Donna Faull

November 29, 2018

Liz and I worked together at McKnight Publishing through Glencoe/McGRAW-Hill from 1967 until her retirement in 1997. While co-workers, we were close friends even following her retirement.

Seeing Deborah’s remembrance of our sharing visit to the NorthWoods with Bettye King brings many memories of the friendships fostered at McKnight Publishing. Being blessed to include Liz in the employees who transferred to work in Peoria, was indicative of her work ethic and contribution to our areas of educational publishing. We both kept Bloomington/Normal homes, so I drove Liz to work many times.

Liz painted and made me many originals during the years. One Christmas angel in beautiful white silk and gold trim was a treasure at home and I shared by hanging it at the office for two years. I was saddened when it was lost in the move of the office to Peoria. Somewhere I have a photo but before digital. Liz was working on two beautiful model fashion costumed dolls for me when she was moved from her home to a retirement apartment in Peoria. One was a beautiful Indian with white leather and beaded clothing and boots. The other was a red-haired, brown eyed fashion doll for which she showed me the fabrics/style dressage. Unfortunately both were btoken in her move and when I visited her at the apartment, she did not remember their brokenness and promised to finish them. I just said great, knowing it would not really happen. That was my last personal visit with Liz. I sent cards for birthdays and Christmases, but knew she would not recognize me while in the Chenoa home.

I have mentioned tangible things of remembrance, but the best gift to each other was our enduring friendship and our mutual trust in the Lord. Now she will be enjoying that faith realized.

Debbie Gorden (King)

November 28, 2018

Dear family of Liz Purcell,

Your grandmother (and sister) was a very good friend of my mother. (Bettye King) They worked together at McKnight Publishing Company, took art classes together, and took many trips to the NorthWoods of Wisconsin to enjoy our summer home and the precious gifts of nature and being "away from it all." These times were treasures for both of them. I am so glad they could enjoy those things together. (I have attached a photo of the woods there.)

I also can tell you that my father-in-law was at the Meadows Retirement Community, so I saw Liz there. At first I thought she would know me, as she attended many family events of ours, but sadly she did not. It was good to see her though.

At a certain point we accept that one's passing is a good thing, but I know you will feel the loss.

Blessings to you all,
Debbie (King) Gorden