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Z. James Purifoy
February 3, 1929 - June 2, 2013


The family will be receiving guests at at First AME Zion Church Parsonage 109 N Skidmore beginning Thursday June 6th and Friday June 7th from 2:00-6:00pm

In Jersey, Arkansas Emmet and Hester Raiford Purifoy welcomed James Purifoy, the fourth of eleven children, on February 3, 1929. As a child he was never alone. With eleven brothers and sisters and living in the country there was never a dull moment. James left school to help provide for the family.

He had several jobs, one at Bradley Mill. That is where he met the love of his life, Sallie Mae Williams. He saw her and knew it was love at first sight. He asked to carry her bag of cotton, she refused and told him she had been doing it by herself and would continue. When she was leaving with her cousin to go home, it just so happened James climbed into the truck for his ride home. She was startled because she didn’t know they had the same ride. From that day on they were inseparable.

On May 29, 1947 she became his “Cotton Pickin’ Wife” and he became her “Cotton Pickin’ Husband”. From that union eight children were born: Joyce, Dorothy, James Jr., Martha, Donald and Ronald (deceased), Ray (Rhonda), and Sally Ann.

They moved to Portland, Oregon in 1954 where he worked as a car salesman and as a waiter at the Multnomah Hotel. He also worked at Rich MFG Steel Foundry diligently until he broke his back and was unable to work for several years.

After many years he went to Barber College. In 1970 he was the first barber in Oregon to cut, style and shape “The Natural” . When he became ill and had to retire from his dream job, he had made so many friends. He was barber to Trail Blazers, Portland Winter Hawks, past mayors, ministers, men and women alike. People recommended him by word of mouth and he was known for his reputation and skills. This was the “Barber Shop” as in Barber Shop the movie! You would think someone was in there and made the movie out of it! Whatever shop Rev worked in, it was a fun hangout even if you weren’t having services done.

As a father and husband he was Bill Cosby aka Dennis the Menace to us. He thought he could fix anything with his trusty tool belt. “NOT!” He was always telling jokes and making us laugh.

When James and Sallie began looking for a church home they chose First AME Zion Church, and they were baptized the same day by the Rev. Oscar Peavey. Under the tutelage of Rev. Peavey he was appointed Pastor Steward. They gave from the heart and worked to support their church in every way they could.

Once he received the calling to be a minister, he discussed it with his wife and children. We agreed, so he promised he would go to Multnomah School of the Bible and not be a jack leg preacher and that is what he did. He was so happy! He was a man full of the love of God and the word! He became an ordained local deacon and had accomplished something he dearly loved.

Rev. Purifoy had a nickname for everyone . Whether he knew you one day or 50 years he always greeted you by, “Hello there, young man or young lady”. He had a heart that could melt yours and a smile that would lift you up. There was nothing Rev. Purifoy wouldn’t do to be of service.

His sisters-in-law are his sisters, and brothers-in-law are his brothers. They are Juan (Clydine Hernandez), Nora Blume, Katherine Robinson (David) and Eula Mae Williams. There were many, many more, but they are preparing for his homegoing. His siblings, Emmett, Lucille, Annie Mae, and Martha are sending him home. His siblings that are preparing for his homecoming are Anna Lou Purifoy, Eltizer Davis, Lola Blake, Otis Purifoy and Ira Purifoy.

Rev. Purifoy wore many hats. He has been Grandpa, Papa, Daddy, Pops, Cowboy, Homeboy, Honey Baby, Son, Father, Great-grandfather, Preacher, Friend, Buddy, “Cuddin”, Uncle, Brother, and most importantly Mrs. Sallie Mae Purifoy’s best friend and husband of 65 wonderful years.

Public Viewing

Friday June 7, 2013, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Terry Family Funeral Home
Click for Map and Directions

Funeral Service

Saturday June 8, 2013, 11:00 AM at New Song Community Church
Click for Map and Directions

Additional parking available at the Library Parking Lot on Russell Street.

Private Interment

Monday June 10, 2013 at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery
Click for Map and Directions

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