Howard U. Purnell, 95

SEPT. 12, 1916-DEC. 15, 2011

December 19, 2011

Howard U. Purnell, 95, of Greencastle, Pa., and formerly of Daytona, Fla., passed away Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, at his residence, where his great-nephew Samuel and his wife, Amanda Keister, also lived.

Born Sept. 12, 1916, in Hancock, Md., he was the youngest of five children of the late Samuel and Amanda Hartley Purnell, and the widower of Avis “Peggy” Purnell.

He served with the U.S. Army, stationed in Hawaii, and served with the Provost Marshall and the Military Police in Hawaii.

He was a Pearl Harbor survivor.

After his military service, his professional work was as an electrician. He worked in the building at Cape Canaveral on the Apollo/Gemini projects, and worked on the construction of Walt Disney World, doing electrical wiring for many of the shows.

He was also involved in the construction for the first Daytona 500 with Bill France Sr., doing the electrical wiring for the pylon. He had a passion for travel and Hawaii, which he spoke of often.

He was a charter member of the Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge 1263 in Daytona Beach, Fla., and a member of the IBEW Local 756 in Port Orange, Fla.

He was preceded in death by sisters, Mary and Genenive; and brothers, Fred and Edwin.

He is survived by nieces, nephews and cousins.

Private services will be held at the family’s earliest convenience.

Arrangements were handled by Grove Funeral Home, Hancock, Md.

Online condolences will be accepted at

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