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Whidbey's Purvis marks 70 years of Lionhood

Spence Purvis was recently recognized for 70 years of service to the Lions Club during a Coupeville chapter meeting. Several of his family members attended. From the left are Patti Sargent, Purvis, Mynda Myres and Mark Myres.  - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Spence Purvis was recently recognized for 70 years of service to the Lions Club during a Coupeville chapter meeting. Several of his family members attended. From the left are Patti Sargent, Purvis, Mynda Myres and Mark Myres.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

“Commitment” would best describe Spence Purvis. The 93-year-old Freeland resident recently marked his 70th anniversary as a member of the Lions Club.

The Coupeville Recreation Hall was packed recently to celebrate Purvis’ accomplishment.

Purvis has been a member of the Coupeville Lions since 1978 when he moved to Whidbey Island after retiring from a long career as a CPA with Ernst and Young. Prior to that, he had been a member of Seattle’s Downtown Central Lions Club since 1940. While part of that chapter, he held a variety of positions including Director, Lion Tamer, Tail Twister and Chapter President. Purvis was approved a life member in 1986 and, over the years, he sponsored 14 new members.

The Coupeville Lions Club will look for new members when the organization holds its annual RSVP Membership Open House Dinner Meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, at the Coupeville United Methodist Church.

The Lions Club is continually searching for civic-minded individuals of good moral character and integrity who want to make a difference in the community. For information about the event call 678-4105, email at CoupevilleLions@juno.com or go to www.coupevillelions.org.

The Coupeville Lions Club presented Purvis with a Chevron marking seven decades in the club. Along with yellow-vest-clad Lions Club members, his daughter Patti Sargent, granddaughter Mynda Myres and her husband Mark Myres also attended the meeting.

“How many people do we know that last 70 years?” Sargent said before the meeting.

Purvis, a World War II veteran, was in the field artillery in France and Germany.

He said he joined the Lions because as a young man he was surrounded by club members.

“I got talked into it at 23 years old,” Purvis said. “I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve kind of grown up in the Lions Club.”

Purvis also served one term on the Coupeville Town Council and he also helped out over the years with the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation and the Island County Planning Commission.

Whether it’s volunteering for the venerable Lions Club or helping with some other public entity, Spence Purvis was always committed to serve, and he’s still doing it.

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