Arlene Katherine Purcell


Arlene Katherine Purcell, 91, of Galesburg, died at 12:40 p.m. Sunday, March 5, 2023 at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home, Peoria, Illinois.

Arlene was born June 12, 1932 in San Antonio, Texas, the daughter Elwood and Evelyn (Meyenhofer) Loeber. Arlene graduated from West Aurora High School in 1950 and then earned her RN from Mounds Midway School of Nursing at Hainline University in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1953.  Arlene married Archie H. Purcell on August 27, 1955 in Alton, Illinois.  After almost 68 years of marriage, Archie preceded Arlene in death on July 8, 2022.

Arlene is survived by three daughters, Dr. Polly Brecht of Galesburg, Priscilla (Phil) Helton of Sellersburg, Indiana, and Paige Purcell of Monmouth, Illinois; and a niece, Linda Jones.  Arlene is also survived by fifteen grandchildren, Gretchen, Jason, Gabrielle, Danielle, Cheyenne, Emily, Holly, Sara, Mary, Rebekah, Rachel, Nate, Joey, David, and Abby; many great grandchildren; and one sister, Linda Jones of Alma, Illinois.  Along with her husband and parents, Arlene was preceded in death by one son, Peter Purcell; four brothers, Edward, Durwood, William, and Elwood; and one sister, Marilyn. 

Arlene worked as a Registered Nurse for 36 years, starting at St. Joseph Hospital in Alton, Illinois from 1953 to 1955, she then worked at Harris Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas from 1955 to 1957.  Arlene worked for a short time at Herrin Hospital in Herrin, Illinois in 1957, then working at Salem Hospital in Salem, Illinois from 1957 to 1960.  She returned to St. Joseph Hospital in Alton from 1960 to 1961.  The family then moved to Galesburg, where Arlene worked as an OB Nurse at Galesburg Cottage Hospital from 1961 until her retirement in 1989.

Arlene loved babies, etc making her a perfect fit as an obstetrics nurse.  In her free time she enjoyed cooking, Corgi’s and being in nature.  Her and Archie enjoyed many camping trips together. 

Cremation will be accorded and no services are planned.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Watson Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory, Galesburg.  The family requests any donations be made in Arlene’s memory to a charity of the donor’s choosing.  Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at

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