Ruth Marie Purcell


Mrs. Ruth Marie Purcell, age 85 of rural Hutsonville, IL, passed away Sunday May 17th, 2020, at 10:50 p.m. at the Heritage Health and Rehabilitation Center (Cotillion Ridge Nursing Home), Robinson, IL, following several months of failing health.

Born a triplet on March 18, 1935, in East St. Louis, IL, she was the daughter of Cleveland and Irma (Curtis) Piper. The triplet birth drew public attention with a family photo and an article in the St. Louis Star-Times with the headline of “Old Doc Stork’ Brings Triplets, All Girls.”

On June 30, 1953 she married C. Donald “Don” Purcell and he preceded her in death March 2, 2005.

Marie was an assembler in shoe production for Ettlebrick Manufacturing, Robinson, IL. Then, in the evening after work at the shoe factory, she was a janitress for Marathon Oil company in the office building and later on, she attended the coffee bar in the cafeteria before it was closed. She was a member of the Porterville congregational Christian Church, Porterville, IL.

Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Donnie M. “Don” and Karen Purcell, Palestine, IL; grandchildren, Nicole and Mark Bedwell, Lawrenceville, IL, and Michael Purcell, Palestine, IL; great-grandchildren, Dawson Bedwell, Peyton Bedwell, Brennan Bedwell and Kaitlyn Bedwell, Lawrenceville, IL; and three sisters, Thyra McKown, Lubbock, TX; Helen Youngfelt, Hobart, IN; and Dorothy Ferguson, Effingham, IL; and two sisters-in-law, Nellie Piper, Neosha, MO, and Carnell Piper, Merriville, IN; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Preceding Marie in death were her parents; her husband; her two brothers William Piper and George Piper; a sister, Alene Bunton; and her triplet sisters, Marilyn Piper and Bertha Margaret Lowe Council.

Funeral service will be Saturday, May 23, 2020, at 2 p.m. at Pulliam Funeral Home, Robinson, IL, with Pastor Josiah Nichols officiating. Visitation will be Saturday, May 23, 2020, from 1 p.m. until time of service at 2 p.m. Burial will be in the Pleasant View Cemetery, Montgomery Township, IL.

Memorial donations may be made to the Activity Fund at Lawrence/Crawford Association for Exceptional Citizens with envelopes available at the funeral home or online at, or to the Porterville Congregational Christian Church with envelopes available at the funeral home.

Online condolences at