Arthur “Art” T. Purdy, 91, passed away at the Cabinet Peaks Medical Center on November 24, 2020. Art was born in Eureka, Montana on June 1, 1929 to Lynn and Jessie Purdy. Art grew up on the family farm with his two brothers and two sisters and attended school in Eureka where he participated in numerous sports including football, basketball and track. Art also began flying single engine planes when he was 14 years old. He was once called into the principal's office and asked to stop flying over the Canadian border and was then dismissed with a wink.
After high school, Art played football at Centralia College in Washington. He left college to enroll in the Army where he was stationed in Texas, New York and Alaska. In 1954, Art married JoAnne Zimmerman and, after a brief time in (old) Rexford, they spent the rest of their marriage in Libby where they raised their four children: Denice Purdy-Patrick (Terry) of Libby, Kevin Purdy of Louisville, CO, Craig Purdy (Deanna) of Fort Collins, CO and Rebecca Purdy of Albuquerque, NM.
Art was preceded in death by his wife JoAnne, infant daughter Melanie, his parents and his siblings. He is survived by his wife Dolly (Urdahl) Purdy. Papa Art is also survived by ten grandchildren: Andy, Josh, Jamie, Tyler, Callie, Justin, Megan, Emily, Von and Madi. He was blessed with 14 great-children: Jacob, Caleb, Ellie, McKenna, Olivia Jo, Mallory, Griffin, Sophie, Zora, Eli, Clark, Zion, Eden and Vivian. Art also enjoyed his frequent visits with cherished nieces and nephews.
Art worked in the logging industry for his entire career starting in the 1950s when he was employed by J. Neils Lumber Company. Art worked as a sawyer, a log truck driver, a scaler and in the dispatch office for St. Regis and Champion lumber companies. In his frequent travels throughout the country, Art never tired of bragging about Libby and Turner Mountain where he loved to ski and enjoyed serving on the ski patrol. Art was instrumental in bringing the chairlift to Turner Mountain. Look for the red, white and blue chair. (#1) Before that, Art was a charter member on the Libby Volunteer Ambulance.
After Art retired from the logging industry, he worked as a seasonal employee for the Forest Service. He enjoyed meeting for coffee with a wide range of friends at Rosauers, Henrys, McDonalds and Happy's Inn. He also enjoyed riding his bike, traveling the country and visiting with his friends and family members.
Art's family would like to send a special thank you to those who took such good care of him in his final days, weeks and months including Linda Andreasen, Carolyn Smith, Christine Avena and all the wonderful staff members at Cabinet Peaks. In lieu of a celebration, due to current public health issues, we ask you send a note or story with your memories of Art to
email@example.com or Denice Purdy-Patrick, 182 Cabinet Heights Rd., Libby, MT 59923. Memorials may be contributed to Turner Mountain/Kootenai Winter Sports Ski Education Foundation, Inc. PO Box 210, Libby, MT 59923. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.
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