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Ruby Cox Purkey died Thursday, January 7, 2021 at her brother and sister’s home in Granite City.  She went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Ruby was born September 4, 1927 in Hartford, Illinois to Charles Burnett Cox and Nellie Koker Cox.  She married John O. Kirchner on April 5, 1946 and they had 1 daughter, Jane M. Kirchner, who survives.  She later married Jack H. Purkey on February 19, 1993 and he passed in 2004.  

She was a member and past president of the Wood River VFW Auxiliary. She was a leader for her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop.  She had many jobs throughout her life.   She worked at the Box Board in Alton, and she also was a dispatcher for the East Alton Police Department in the early 1960s.  She worked as a manager for Holiday Inn in St. Louis and sold insurance for many years.  She moved to California about 1963 where she worked as a manager for Howard Johnson’s hotel and for many years as an apartment house manager.  She later moved to Oklahoma.  After her husband Jack passed, she moved to Utah to live with her daughter and son-in-law. The last couple years of her life she lived with her siblings, Linda and Leonard, because of the high elevation in Utah. Before leaving Illinois, she was a member of the Church of God in Bethalto.  When she returned to Illinois she joined the Anchor of Hope Fellowship Center Church on Milton Road with Pastor Garney and his wife, Karla, who is Ruby’s niece. They have been very helpful in caring for Ruby.

Surviving are her daughter, Jane M. Kirchner Little (Don), in Mapleton, Utah and 2 grandchildren, Mary (Derek) Seaquist in Tucson, Arizona and John (Danielle ) Little in Spanish Fork, Utah; 6 great grandchildren, Christian, Ryan, Ava Seaquist and Taylor Little Gibson, Ashlyn and Jesse Little; 1 great-great-granddaughter, Rosemary Gibson; one sister, Linda M. Andrews, and one brother, Leonard T. Cox, both living in Granite City, Illinois.  She was also cared for by a close and dear niece, Beverly Herrin.

She has been reunited with her parents, husband, Jack, and 3 sisters, Vurble Smith, Margaret Cox and Ann Marie Wright; 4 brothers, Leslie, Charlie, Forrest, and Glenn Edward; and her precious dog, Pixie.

Visitation will be Tuesday, January 12 at Anchor of Hope Fellowship Center, 503 Milton Road, Alton from 10 a.m. until funeral services begin at 11 a.m.  Pastor Seeram Garney will officiate.  Social distancing and face coverings will be required.

She will be buried in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery with her husband, Jack at a later date. 

Memorials can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Professional services entrusted to Paynic Home for Funerals, with an online guestbook and information at

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