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November 28, 1925 ~ October 14, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old
Lena Purcell died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her children at the age of 97 in Petaluma, CA.
She is survived by her loving children Kathleen Dole (Rod), Patricia McLain (Dave), and William Purcell (Rachel) and eight beloved grandchildren Brian McLain (Megan), Laura Ramsey (William), Mark McLain (Gina), Michael Dole (Ana), Christina Fisch (Doug), Lindsay Purcell, Riley Purcell, and Will Purcell.
Lena cherished her 13 great-grandchildren Lauren and Maddy McLain; Elle, Billy and Jimmy Ramsey; Angus and Jasper McLain; Mason, Avery, and Alexis Dole; and Rickey, Jimmey, and Charley Fisch.
She was predeceased by husband of 64 years James Purcell, her parents Giovanni and Rosalia Caviglia, her brother Lorrie Caviglia, and her granddaughter Sydney Hope Purcell.
Lena was born at Alameda Hospital and was a resident of Alameda for over 80 years. She grew up in the large Italian community on Bay Farm Island where the Ratto Family of 13 immigrants raised vegetables and children at a time when Harbor Bay was a marsh, the roads were dirt, and the families all worked together on the farm. Lena was the last of the 30 first cousins who grew up together on Bay Farm Island.
Lena attended Lincoln and then Alameda High School, where she graduated in only 3.5 years as the 1943 class valedictorian. She worked for the Alameda County Welfare Department, serving as the head secretary to the Director and mastering shorthand, which she used throughout her life. She then dedicated her life to home and family, all while serving as the President of the St. Philp Neri School Parents Guild.
Lena held a deep affection for her Italian roots and family, finding immense pride in her heritage. She imparted this love for family to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Over the years, Lena coordinated numerous gatherings, providing opportunities for her family to unite and not only enjoy pleasant moments, but also listen to her stories of her background. Lena’s favorite moments were those spent with all the family together, and her last words were, “tell my family I love them.
Donations in Lena’s honor may be made to St. Anthony’s Dining Room [121 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102].
The family invites you to join us in celebrating Lena at a Funeral Mass on Friday, October 20, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Philp Neri Church in Alameda and the committal ceremony on Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary Cemetery in Oakland.
Friday October 20, 2023 11:00 AM St. Philip Neri Church
Saturday October 21, 2023 10:00 AM St. Mary s Cemetery