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Susan Purscell

Susan Marie Purscell, 83, passed away on September 11, 2023 at home, surrounded by her family. Susan was born in Des Moines, IA on April 30, 1940 to Clarence and Vesta Loy. She lived in Des Moines throughout her childhood and graduated from North High School in 1958.

While in elementary school, Susan met a little boy, named Jerry, who would become her husband of 64 years. The two married on May 2, 1959 and together they raised two sons and later, built their family home. Susan was a working mother and held positions at Easter Seals of Iowa, Iowa Methodist Medical Center, and finally retired from Lincoln High School after more than twenty years of service.

Susan enjoyed sewing, making crafts, and was an avid reader. She loved to learn about the native birds and trees of Iowa. Her creative mind led to her being a champion doodler (especially while talking on the phone) and the creation of a stained glass like home filing system on her cupboards made of sticky notes. She was also an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church for most of her life, where she sang in the choir and volunteered in various capacities.

Susan’s grandchildren will always remember her as being smart, loving, and ready for anything. She was always available for fishing at the lake or playing pool at home. Activities with the grandchildren ranged from showing off her collections of knickknacks and playing marbles to shooting clay pigeons and firing a home-made potato cannon in the backyard. She also loved baking cookies and teaching them about the plants and birds that dotted their property.

Those who went before her were Susan’s parents and many aunts and uncles. We who are left to remember are her husband Jerry Purscell, sons Kevin (Julie) Purscell and Craig (Jessica) Purscell ; her grandchildren Christopher (Lorraine ) Purscell, Daniel (Ashe) Purscell, Michael Purscell, Sara Purscell, and Susanna Purscell; her sisters Karen Neuman, Dianne Loy, and Deborah (Daniel) Flanery along with her beloved nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, September 20th, at 11:00 A.M. with visitation from 10:00 to 11:00 at the Merle Hay Funeral Home at 4400 Merle Hay Rd. Des Moines, IA 50310.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Animal Rescue League (



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