Remembering Graham Purcell

Graham Purcell a former Congressman of Texoma passed away at his home late Friday night.  He served as a judge and lawyer in Wichita Falls and in Congress from 1962 to 1973.  Purcell was 92-years-old.

He was just a teenager in Archer City when a congressman dropped by the courthouse.

"It just kind of lit a fire and he thought I'd like to do that," said his wife of 41 years Nancy Purcell.

Nancy says despite not being a very good student in school he managed to attend Texas A&M, served our country in World War II and later served as the 89th District Judge, but he wanted to make a bigger impact for people in North Texas so he ran for congress.

"He worked hard and ran and won and of course I think he was a wonderful congressman."

After serving for 11 years as a United State Representative he was defeated and went back to practicing law and for the past 23 years Purcell and his wife called Wichita Falls home.  If you ever met Purcell there would be one characteristic that stood out that will be dearly missed.

"He was a great storyteller," said Nancy.
"You always knew you were going to get some good stories," said his grandchild Graham Purcell III.
"His stories that he would tell," said Congressman Mac Thornberry.  "From shaking hands with Winston Churchill when he was a soldier in WW II to being in the motorcade when Kennedy was assassinated."

He experienced history and made history, his son Blake witnessed it all.

"I remember him taking me and my best friend to the floor of Congress with the Supreme Court, the Senators, the Congressman and we're on the floor two rows back from the
President making the State of the Union Address," said Blake Purcell.

He leaves behind his wife Nancy, 9 children, 25 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.  A larger than life family who learned from Purcell how life is meant to be lived.

"His character, his outlook on life, his larger than life personality has really made me want to be somebody better," said Graham Purcell III.

Nancy says that one of his proudest moments was when the city named the downtown Federal Building after him in 1993.

Services will be held 11 am, Tuesday, June 14 at First Presbyterian Church of Wichita Falls.  The family will receive visitors following the service at the church.

Crystal Hall Newschannel 6