Henry Devon "H.D." Purser
March 5, 1922 – September 7, 2019
Henry Devon Purser, age 97, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, September 7, 2019.
He was born March 5, 1922 in Union County, NC, to the late Henry Wilson Purser and Nancy Mullis Purser.
H.D. was raised in New Salem, NC and graduated from New Salem High School. He worked in a ship yard in Wilmington and he entered into the US Navy serving in WWII on the USS Purdy. After the war, he returned home and married his childhood sweetheart Ruth York. H.D. founded Purser Oil Company in 1948. He and Ruth were happily married for 70 years.
He is survived by sons, Cecil Purser (Cindy), Stan Purser (Debbie), Jeff Purser (Susan) and Russell Purser; grandchildren, Chuck Purser (Melanie), Erin Watts (Jon), Christopher Purser, Brian Purser (Cristina), Keith Purser, Jason Purser (Kelly), Adam Purser; great grandchildren, Lindsey Purser, Lila and Charlotte Purser and Ethan Purser; and sister, Doris Godwin.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, Ruth York Purser and seven siblings.
A visitation will be held from 9:00 am until 11:00 am on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at McEwen Funeral Service-Mint Hill Chapel. A celebration of life service will follow at 11:00 am officiated by the Reverend Arnold Kessler. Burial to follow at Sharon Memorial Park.
A special thanks to Showmar's Restaurant in Mint Hill for their generosity and support of senior citizens.
The family requests that memorial contributions be sent to Hospice or a charity of your choice.
Condolences may be offered online at www.mcewenminthillchapel.com.
- Cecil Purser (Cindy), Son
- Stan Purser (Debbie), Son
- Jeff Purser (Susan), Son
- Russell Purser, Son
- Chuck Purser (Melanie), Grandchild
- Erin Watts (Jon), Grandchild
- Christopher Purser, Grandchild
- Brian Purser (Cristina), Grandchild
- Keith Purser, Grandchild
- Jason Purser (Kelly), Grandchild
- Adam Purser, Grandchild
- Lindsey Purser, Great Grandchild
- Lila Purser, Great Grandchild
- Charlotte Purser, Great Grandchild
- Ethan Purser, Great Grandchild
- Doris Godwin, Sister
- Chuck Purser
- Christopher Purser
- Jason Purser
- Adam Purser
- Brian Purser
- Keith Purser
- Phil Tomberlin , Honorary Pallbearer
- Nick Nicholson, Honorary Pallbearer
- Charity of Choice
- Visitation Saturday, September 14, 2019
- Celebration of Life Service Saturday, September 14, 2019
- Committal Service Saturday, September 14, 2019
Henry Devon "H.D." Purser
September 17, 2019
My name is Brian Purser. H.D. Purser was my Granddaddy. I wrote a letter to him last year around Christmas. I was able to read this letter to him before he passed away. I would like to share this letter for others to see in hopes that you will have a small glimpse of how much my Granddaddy meant to me. Because of the size of the letter, I was not able to put the entire letter in one post, so it is broken down into 3 posts. Please read the letter below in it's entirety. Simply scroll down when reading and you will be able to see the entire letter. Thank you.
September 17, 2019
My Granddaddy was one of the 2 most influential men in my entire life (along with my Dad). He has helped teach me many valuable lessons in business and in life. By the way he has led his life, he has shown me how to be a good husband, father, and business man.
I was very fortunate to have been able to work for my Granddaddy for almost 10 years. These 10 years helped mold me into the man I am today. (I know I still have a long ways to go, but I will get there.) Many of the things my Granddaddy said and did when I worked for him are things that I am very mindful of today in my relationships in and outside of work. My employees are probably tired of hearing me say, “My Granddaddy would say this….or my Granddaddy would do this.” Here are a few things that I have heard my Granddaddy say over the years that I keep in my mind:
--Tell me who you are hanging out with and I will tell you what you are doing…..
This is something that I have reminded myself over the years. The people that I spend my time with will either have a positive or negative influence on my life. But one way or the other, they will have an influence.
--I wouldn’t cheat you out of a nickel, but I don’t want to be cheated out of a nickel either……
My Granddaddy really helped teach me how important integrity was in business and life in general. I once heard him in his office call the bank to let them know that they had given him 25 cents to much on a withdrawal. 25 Cents! But it didn’t matter that it was only 25 cents. It only mattered that the money was not his. He took this quarter back to the bank.
September 17, 2019
--We want the customer’s money, but we want their goodwill too…..
My Granddaddy was very wise and knew that to make a successful business that you need repeat business. It is cheaper to keep a customer than it is to find a new customer. He knew that it was important to make a profit, but it was equally as important to give the customer a high level of service so that they would stay a customer.
--The most important person in a business is the customer……
I remember one time a customer came to get fuel at the fuel rack and my Granddaddy asked me to go take care of the customer. I didn’t respond to Granddaddy in the way I should have. My Granddaddy went out to the rack and served the customer. When he came back inside, he called me into his office and told me to shut the door. My Granddaddy is not a man who curses or raises his voice, but he gets his point across. He looked at me sternly and said, "Brian, do you know who the most important person is at Purser Oil?” I said, “Yes sir. You are Granddaddy.” He then looked at me and said, “No. That is incorrect. The most important person here is the customer. Without customers, we wouldn’t have a business.” This is how my Granddaddy was so successful in his business. He realized the customer had to be the top priority.
When I worked for my Granddaddy I learned a lot about how you treat your employees. He was always good to his employees. He treated the employee who worked in the warehouse just the same as he did his top salesman. And my Granddaddy led by servant leadership. No job, no matter how dirty, or how small, was below him. I can remember many times I saw him spraying weeds, mowing the yard, cleaning up the warehouse, etc…..He led by serving others. This is a great example of how we should be not only at work, but in life as well. Jesus also led by serving others. This is one of the reasons his employees love him so much. He put his employees before himself.
September 17, 2019
My Granddaddy also helped teach me how to treat my wife. In the 43 years that I saw my grandfather and grandmother together I can honestly say that I never once saw them fight. I never once saw either raise their voice towards the other. And I am sure, like any couple, they had their disagreements. But they never fought in front of others. And one thing I remember him telling me was that they made a vow to each other to never go to bed angry at one another. This is something I have tried to implement in marriage. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.
So you see, my Granddaddy has taught me many things. And while he has been so generous to us over the years monetarily, you simply cannot put a price on the life lessons he has taught me. Without my Granddaddy, I would not be the man I am today. He has made me want to be a better husband, better boss, and one day a better father. It is funny how things in life go full circle. I still remember when I was a young child my Granddaddy letting me ride on his tractor. I would sit on his lap while he drove us to the “candy store”. He took care of me and I was blessed to be put in a situation where I could help take care of him after Grandmother passed away. Helping him was one of the greatest blessings in my life; it was the least I could do. Thank you Granddaddy!
September 15, 2019
I was heartened to see Mr. Purser had lived such a long and fruitful life...I knew him as a child, when he would deliver fuel oil to our home in Charlotte over 60 years ago, no matter the time or weather...he made sure we were never were cold....and He was always spoken of with respect and caring in our home, as well...I am not sure, but he and my dad may have known each other, both being from New Salem area? With Dad being gone, I can't know now. I am sorry for the loss of this precious family and business man, but, I know he has passed down a legacy of honesty and caring to all who knew him...may we all mirror his life in our own...Wanda Godfrey, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
September 14, 2019
Jeff & Stan, so sorry to hear of your dads passing. He was a sincere and honest man, and highly respected in the petroleum industry. I always enjoyed the days in came into SPATCO, and doing business with him and the company. My condolences to you and the families. Bobby Kelly
Tracy and Julie Young
September 13, 2019
We are so very sorry for the Purser family.
H.D. was such a wonderful and humble man who defined the Greatest Generation. A true National Treasure!
We always enjoyed opportunities to chat with H.D. and observe
his devotion and love for his wife Ruth. Their love was so evident that it filled the room!
It is comforting to know that they are together once again in heaven.
Rest in Peace.
September 12, 2019
To the family-
It is time to celebrate the life of a man who lived life by helping others. At 97, he had a life filled with love of family, friends and customers.
The first time I remember meeting Mr. Purser was 50 years ago. I was a kid growing up with my parents (and brothers) on Arnold Drive. My Dad had just cashed his payroll check at the bank when we stopped by the company on Central Ave. Mr. Purser greeted us from behind the counter. It was the dead of summer and I could not understand why we were stopping. Dad gave Mr. Purser some money and said that he had to pay his heating oil bill. It was a number of years later when I realized that Dad was paying his heating bill year around. In the summer months he would build up a credit to his account. During the winter months the account would get hit hard paying for the oil we used. However, if the account ran out of money, Mr. Purser would still deliver the oil.
Years later, I would run into Mr. Purser at K&W, Showmar's or the grocery store. The family had moved to Mint Hill (where I still live today) and I would always take the time to speak to him. I would tell him who I was and he immediately recalled my Dad's name and Arnold Drive.
Mr.Purser and my Dad shared a lot in common. They were born the same year and served their country during war time. They were hard working men who loved their family. They were both proud, honorable men, full of integrity and respect for others. And they loved GOD!
I will miss him terribly!
September 11, 2019
I have known HD Purser 48 years when I started dating my husband and 46 years as my father-in-law. I believe Nehemiah 7: 2 describes him best: " he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do." Rest in peace granddaddy your family loved you and great is your reward in heaven!