Ione ‘Dee’ McDonald Puryear

Ione ‘Dee’ McDonald Puryear

August 1, 1919 – April 8, 2007

It was appropriate that on Easter Sunday, Ione ‘Dee’ McDonald Puryear went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. A public memorial service is set for 10 a.m. this Saturday at the new location of First Baptist Church in Bryan. John Free and Rodger Lewis will officiate.

Mrs. Puryear held a master’s degree in education from Duke University. She served as the superintendent of the Methodist Orphan School in Jackson, Miss., during World War II. She married geologist John Puryear in 1952. From 1954 to 1999, Mr. and Mrs. Puryear lived in Corpus Christi, where she was a great mother to their three sons. She kept her family active in church and was a Cub Scout den mother. At various times she taught university classes, and taught sixth grade for several years. She was a realtor, a musician who especially enjoyed hymns, and an accomplished artist whose oil paintings won many awards. Mr. and Mrs. Puryear moved to Bryan in 1999 to be closer to their sons. She emphasized the importance of treating others with kindness and respect. She had a keen appreciation for humor, which was abundantly supplied by her witty husband John and their sons. She was not afraid to say, ‘I love you,’ and she said it often. Even after a stroke took her ability to speak clearly, one could always understand her when she said, ‘I love you.’

Dee will always hold a dear place in the hearts of her friends and family, who remember her as a sweet, loving and kind lady. She held a deep love for God and gave generously to advance the cause of Jesus Christ. Dee courageously faced her life’s many personal disappointments and unexpected losses of loved ones. It was during such a time, a period in which several beloved family members unexpectedly died, that she committed her life to Jesus.

In recent years, as Dee was beset by many serious health catastrophes, she continued to amaze doctors by her ability to bounce back. Dee set an example by avoiding bitterness and self-pity regarding what she termed ‘life’s vicissitudes.’ Dee enjoyed every day of life, and was unafraid of death. As she sensed that the end of her life was nearing, she increasingly looked forward to ‘going to God and Jesus.’

Dee was survived by a sister, Mildred McDonald Held of Waco, Texas and lifelong friend Bobbie Rush of Lakeland, Fla. Another sister, Effie McDonald Perry, and her brother, EJ McDonald, preceded her in death, as well as her husband, John Puryear III, and her son, John Puryear IV.

She was survived by her two sons, Stephen McDonald Puryear, of Canton, Miss., and Jeffrey Donald Puryear, of Bryan; daughter-in-law, Barbara Puryear, of Canton, Miss.; and granddaughters Amanda Mansell and Erin Vassar, of Clinton, Miss.

As the Master said, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ Well done, Dee!


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Due to the construction on S College Ave our facility is only accessible via Dellwood St. Please refer to this map for reference. Dellwood St can be accessed via Cavitt Ave and Texas Ave.

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