Leona Ruth Purdum | News, Sports, Jobs


Leona Ruth Purdum, 94, a resident of Morgantown, WV, died peacefully early Friday morning, February 4, 2022, at the Madison Center in Morgantown, WV, after a fulfilling life of love, laughter, generosity and support. kindness.

She was predeceased by her loving husband of 74 years, Raymond Brandenburg Purdum Jr.

Leona was born Wednesday, February 23, 1927, in Elkins, West Virginia, the daughter of the late Thornton R. Whiteman and Martha C. Whiteman.

She was one of 12 children.

She was predeceased by her parents and siblings, Charles Whiteman, Ernest Whiteman, Robert Whiteman, Willard Whiteman, Vesta Clowser, Madeline Crickard, Lois Dye, Marguerite Riffle, Wilma Seitz, Grace Eleanor Vannoy and Lila Whiteman.

Leona leaves behind her daughter, Sharon Smethurst of Kansas City, Missouri, and her two children, Ryan Balsley of Kansas City, Missouri, and Karin Balsley of Nashville, Tennessee; son, Charles (Susan Bering) Purdum of Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, and son Russell (Cynthia Lin) Purdum of Morgantown and their son, Branden.

Leona leaves behind several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and great-grandnieces and nephews – mostly ancestors of the Whiteman family of Elkins.

Leona graduated from Elkins High School and married her beloved husband Ray (“Doctor”) upon his return from serving our country in the Navy during World War II.

They moved to Morgantown, WV so Doc could finish his studies in mechanical engineering at West Virginia University. Leona and Doc then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where Doc worked for Philadelphia Electric as an engineer. Leona became a full-time mother and housekeeper while raising her daughter, Sharon, in Philadelphia.

They moved to Fairmont, West Virginia when Doc accepted a position with the Allegheny Power Company. Their moves continued to Williamstown, West Virginia and then to Kingwood, West Virginia as Doc rose through the ranks of the Allegheny Power Company (now First Energy Corporation).

While raising her three children and decorating their homes during these moves, Leona found time to learn oil painting, pottery, embroidery, cross stitch and many crafts including creating miniature Fabergé eggs thanks to her incredible creativity and patience. Her “crown jewel” project was to design and build their dream home and gardens in Kingwood, West Virginia. She and her husband, Doc, have spent many years building rock gardens, fountains, flower and shrub beds inspired by their many trips to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

While successfully serving her church and community, nothing was more important than bringing joy and comfort to her husband Doc. They were inseparable in life and enjoyed hobbies such as painting, crafts, gardening, stamp collecting, travelling, cooking, puzzles and decorating for the holidays.

The Purdum family would like to express their gratitude to all staff at Harmony of Morgantown, Encompass in Morgantown and Madison Rehabilitation in Morgantown for their compassionate and loving care.

The family will receive friends at Lohr & Barb Funeral Home in Elkins on Saturday, February 12, 2022 from 11 a.m. to noon, time of funeral.

The Reverend Doctor Peter A. Vial will officiate. Interment will be at Maplewood Cemetery in Elkins, West Virginia.

Lohr & Barb Funeral Home is making arrangements for Leona Ruth Purdum.

Condolences can be expressed to the family at www.lohrbarbfuneralhome.com and donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (https://www.alz.org/about).


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