Cover photo for Alan Carter Purvis's Obituary
Alan Carter Purvis Profile Photo

Alan Carter Purvis

March 2, 1941 — March 25, 2023


Alan Carter Purvis


Alan C. Purvis, 82 (Marshall, WI/Guttenberg, IA) passed away peacefully at home on March 25th, 2023, from Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), which he had been living with for several years.


Alan was born on March 2, 1941, in Highland Park, IL, to Charles Purvis, a writer for the Chicago Tribune, and Theodora Purvis, a homemaker. He enjoyed a happy childhood growing up in Mount Prospect and Arlington Heights, IL, with his brother, Martin Purvis.


After graduating from high school in Arlington Heights, Alan worked for Pure Oil and several airlines at O’Hare while attending various community colleges and universities. Among his prized possessions at the time was a ’57 Chevy convertible, which symbolized, as Alan put it, “a carefree time in my life.”


In the mid-1960s, Alan moved to Carbondale, IL, where he enrolled at Southern Illinois University. Although he was pursuing a degree in business management, he found himself drawn to student government, which is where he met the love of his life, Jill (Ward) Purvis.  Alan and Jill married in the fall of 1967.

Following graduation from SIU in 1969, Alan returned to the Chicago suburbs with Jill. They began their life in Buffalo Grove and Lake Zurich, IL, while Alan worked in human resource management at Baxter Travenol Laboratories, Motorola and GTE Corporation. GTE brought Alan and Jill to Wisconsin in 1979, and they settled in the small town of Marshall, where they lived for 30 years and welcomed their children, Ian and Brianna.

Alan’s children were very much his joy and focus in his life. As the kids grew, his time was quickly filled with his children's sporting events, musical concerts and theater performances. He was an integral part of the Marshall community, as an active member of booster clubs and the PTA as well as a Boy Scout leader and youth softball coach. Alan was also a founding member of the Marshall Scholarship Committee and lead successful task forces and a referendum committee, which resulted in the building of three new Marshall schools. In 2002, Gov. Scott McCallum awarded Alan the prestigious Wisconsin Education Association Council’s “Friend of Education Award” recognizing his significant contributions to public education in Wisconsin.


While in Wisconsin, Alan worked in human resources for Madison Newspapers, General Casualty Insurance, Diversified Computer Solutions and finally, Electronic Theatre Controls, after which he retired. While Alan waited for Jill to retire, he volunteered in Jill’s classroom and enjoyed subbing in the Marshall school offices and libraries. 


In 2008, Alan and Jill moved to Guttenberg, IA, where they built a house on the bluff of the Mississippi River. As a nature lover, Alan could often be found sitting at the window observing wildlife and the scenes of the constantly-changing river.


Alan and Jill moved back to Wisconsin to be closer to family in 2022. His last years with FTD were tough, but he remained at home surrounded with love (and lots of sweets). Alan was an exceptional son, husband, father, uncle and friend to many. He loved music, theatre, nature, traveling and following the Wisconsin Badgers and Chicago Cubs. He will be remembered for his story telling, among many other things. He was loved very much and will be dearly missed.


Alan is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Jill Purvis; his son, Ian (Naomi) Purvis; daughter, Brianna (Eric) Purvis; his granddaughter, Kaylee; his brother, Martin (Maryam) of Dunedin, New Zealand; his mother-in-law, Anne Ward; siblings-in-law: Tammy (Larry) Fischer, Debbie (Gene) Rueb, Mel (Kris) Ward, Wendy (Rick) McCartney, Kathy (Carl) Edwards, Marty (Diane) Ward, Heidi Mark. He’s also survived by 12 nieces and nephews, and their families.


He is preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Theodora Purvis; his father-in-law, Melvin Ward; sister-in-law, Sue Ward; and brother-in-laws, Kyle Rueb and Bob Glasgow.


An open house to celebrate Alan’s life will be held on Sunday, June 4th 2023, at Four Winds Farm (5735 Adams Rd., Fitchburg, Wis. 53575) from 1–5 p.m. with a time to share stories about Alan around 2 p.m.


Informed Choice Funeral & Cremation Alternatives is assisting the family.

3325 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53704




Memorials may be gifted in Alan’s name to:



Scholars for Dollars C/O F&M Bank

PO Box 660

Marshall, WI 53559



214 S. River Park Dr.

PO Box 593

Guttenberg, IA 52052



Agrace Foundation

5395 E. Cheryl Parkway

Madison, WI 53711



To order memorial trees in memory of Alan Carter Purvis, please visit our tree store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, June 4, 2023

1:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

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