Robbi Rae Purcell

Resided in Gladstone, MI
Died June 5, 2020

Robbi Rae Purcell, age 60, of Gladstone, passed away peacefully Friday afternoon, June 5th, 2020 at Freeman Nursing Home in Kingsford, Michigan with his daughter at his side.

Robbi was born August 4th, 1959 in Escanaba, the son of James and Gloria (Cartwright) Purcell. Following high school, Robbi went to work in many different trades but ended job hopping as an engineer for VanEnkevort Tug and Barge, where he worked on the iron oar boats for most of his life.

Robbi resided in Florida for a number of years where he raised his son, Peter James. Later, Robbi moved to Gladstone where he raised his daughter, Heavenlee, and lived for the remainder of his life. Robbi was a member of the Gladstone American Legion, and also loved hanging out at Whatever Bar & Wally’s Bar in Gladstone. If you were lucky enough to know this man, you knew what a character he truly was. He was a jack of all trades. Quite an instigator, as well. If you’ve ever been a part of a conversation with him.. it usually ended with him starting an argument & then grinning as he stood up to leave and head home. Robbi was so many things to so many people, including a friend, brother, son, father, and a grandpa-to-be. He will be deeply missed by so many.

Robbi is survived by his daughter Heavenlee (Caleb Rose) Royer of Gladstone, his son Peter James “PJ” (Libby) Purcell of Winter Haven, FL, sisters Sharon (Don) Calouette, Sue (Dale) Vorac, Linda “Lou Lou” Bruce, Chris “Beanie” (Joe) Kirchgatter, and Gloria (Warren) Brown, brothers Dan (Mary) Richards, Steve (Mary) Richards, Lynn “Turnip” (Linda) Richards, Rodger (Kathy) Richards, Mike Richards, and Jack (Chris) Richards, future grandchild Baby Rose, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Robbi is preceded in death by his parents, James and Gloria Purcell, and brother Peter James Purcell.

Family will receive friends and guests on Wednesday, June 17th, 2020 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Visiting hours will conclude with a time of sharing at 4:00 PM. Immediately following the service, there will be a Celebration of Life at Wally’s Bar. Robbi will be laid to rest in the Fernwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Robbi’s daughter, Heavenlee Royer. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting the Purcell family.

7 Tributes for “Robbi Rae Purcell

    Dear Heavenlee,
    I first knew your dad from working on the boats & was so surprised when I found out he was your father.
    He was always so pleasant to talk to & such a happy go lucky guy. You definitely inherited those traits from him.
    He was so proud of you!
    I hope you’re able to find peace & comfort during this difficult time. My deepest sympathy.
    Patti Stropich

    Just a quick note to the family of Robbie. He worked with my husband Terry on the Joe Thompson years ago. Great guy, funny and generous to all he knew. Many will miss him and many have a lot of great memories to cling to. His sarcastic humor was like no other. Always made me laugh.
    RIP my friend, condolences to the family . God Bless

    I worked at VanEnkenvort Tug & Barge for 10 years and had the pleasure of working with Robbi and got to know him through the years. I really liked him. He was a character yet polite. He came into the office a lot with some Smart phone issues, lol! He will be greatly missed.

    I sailed with your dad for many years he was a great friend and mentor to me we had lots of great times on the boat and in the bar I’ll miss his sense of humor has he always talked about his family and his friends he will be greatly missed he was like family to me and you are family to me and Mikayla our prayers are with you and your family he will never be forgotten love ya .

    So sorry to hear Robbi passing. He was my next door neighbor to my Mother. He was always happy and willing to help her. My condolences to his beautiful daughter Heavelee.

    Dear Family. I went to school with Robbi at Flat Rock. He was such a kind quiet soul. Cherish the memories with Robbi, they will help sustain you. Prayers, Kathy Choiunard Wolak

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