James Aderton Purcell

November 11, 1927June 4, 2018

On June 4th 2018 after 90 years of living, James A. Purcell finished his life’s journey with loving family members at his side. His gentle ways, his humor, his integrity, his intelligence and appreciation of life’s bounty will always be remembered.

Born in Amarillo TX and raised in Riverside CA, he graduated in 1945 from San Bernardino High School. A Navy veteran, he served during WWII and was recalled for the Korean conflict. After discharge he attended the University of Oregon, where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, graduating with a Bachelor Degree in architecture in 1956. In 1953 he married Lois Williams of Eugene, a member of Delta Gamma Fraternity. Three children: Judith L., Albuquerque; Elizabeth L., (Andy Martin) San Diego and Thomas A., (Lauren) Berkeley completed their family while he worked in Los Angeles. In later years the joy of grandchildren brightened his life: Hannah and Leigh Martin; Addie Aranow-Purcell, Joannah and Reed Purcell.

His focus in the field of architecture was as a designer. During his career he worked with A.C. Martin, William Pereira, Neptune and Thomas, and Deems, Lewis, (Martin) of San Diego. Partnering and associating with local architects in Santa Barbara and San Diego gave him much pleasure to work on various projects including Irvine Ranch Masterplan, Library and Humanities Building UCSD, Main Post Office Facility, San Diego, Sera and Mesa High Schools, San Diego Convention Center, and Our Lady of Grace Church.

As a member of The American Institute of Architects, he served as President of the San Diego Chapter. He was a long-time member of the Lion’s Club in Santa Barbara, and the San Diego’s Lion’s Downtown Host Club. Always an avid golfer since high school and junior college with a sweet swing, he was instrumental in forming the San Diego Host Golf Club. Wives of some members insisted his humorous SDGC Newsletter be delivered to home addresses rather than offices so they could enjoy.

Married for 64 years, Jim and Lois enjoyed camping and traveling using tents, a converted van, a trailer and later took a Panama Canal Cruise and many out-of-country and overseas excursions. Jim had many artistic interests; photography, astronomy, art, cartooning, classic cars, aviation, earning his pilot’s license, and always - golf! A wonderful story teller, many were often requested, especially those with accents.

Services will be held at Miramar National Cemetery on Friday July 6 at10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider the USO, his charity of choice or your preference


James Aderton Purcell

have a memory or condolence to add?


June 11, 2018

May God's loving kindness and comfort, help you and your family during this time of sorrow (2 Corinthian 1:3,4).

Jhess E

June 6, 2018

My condolences to the family. May the "God of all comfort" comfort you during this difficult time. (2 Cor 1:3)