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December 1, 2008

The Family of
Nina Buss Purdy


            Nina A. Buss, first child of Mary Jane and James Buss, was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, on August 4, 1885.  She died in Easton on February 18, 1975, at the age of 89.

            Nina married Raymond Russell Purdy, Sr., who had been born on July 25, 1885.  Raymond ws known as “Duckle.”  They were both 20 when they married in 1905.  In 1920, they lived on Raspberry Street in Easton, and Duckle was a carpenter.  In 1930, they lived at 1220 Spruce Street, and Nina’s father, James Buss, then 72, and Nina’s sister Lillian, were living with them.  (See more on the Buss family.)  The household in 1930 consisted of:

Raymond R. Purdy, 44, carpenter in a steel plant
Nina Purdy, 44, wife
Mary Purdy, 24, daughter, laborer in a pencil works
George Purdy, 18, son
James Buss, 72, slater, self-employed
Lillian Buss, 36, sister in law, office manager, cleaning plant

            Duckle registered for the draft during World War I when he was 33.  He was then identified as a carpenter for Howard Keiper, at 1406 Northampton Street.  When Duckle registered for the draft in 1942 during World War II, he was 56.  It is not known if he was called to service on either occasion.  At the time of his registration in 1942, he was still living at 1220 Spruce Street.  His wife Nina was listed as employed by the Weston Club at 1301 Spruce Street. Duckle died in 1957 at the age of 72.

            Duckle was a member of a very athletic family.  The August 10, 1986, issue of the Easton Express carried a full page story with pictures of the Purdy family: "Four generations have combined for 49 letters at area schools," the article said. "The Purdy family has just rounded out 83 glorious years of having a tremendous impact on the Easton area's sports history."

            Duckle played on the undefeated 1903 Easton High School football team and "was considered one of the greatest [athletes] in the [Easton High] school history"  He continued to be one of the great tackles in the history of Lafayette College.  He also played baseball, and in 1918 took up soccer.

            Their children were:
Mary Purdy (1906-2004)
Raymond R. Purdy, Jr. (1907-1990)
George Purdy (1911-1996)

             1.  Mary A. Purdy was the first child of Nina and Raymond Purdy.  She was born on January 24, 1906, and died on April 22, 2004, at the age of 98.  Both of her brothers predeceased her.  Mary married Randolph W. Hackman, who died November 3, 2002.  Randy Hackman was a noted organist in the Easton area.  They had two daughters: Lettie H. Hackman, who married Charles Patterson, and Nina A. Hackman, who married Harry Hummer, all of Easton.

             2.  Raymond R. (Russ) Purdy, Jr., was born on September 18, 1907.  He married the former Helen M. Saturday.  He earned nine varsity letters at Easton High School.  Despite needing oxygen in his later years, he programmed himself to take his wife dancing every Saturday night.  Russ and Helen's son, Malcolm Purdy, was an excellent wrestler at Wilson High School.  Russ began a fire extinguisher company, later taken over by Malcolm.  Helen was born on March 2, 1906, and died in Easton in June 1995 at the age of 89.  Russ died in Easton on April 2, 1990, at the age of 83.

            3.  George (Dutch) Purdy, third child of Nina and Russ, was born on June 14, 1911.  He was quarterback and senior captain of the last Pat Reilley-coached team at Easton High School.  He also played basketball.  "Dutch was the best all-around high school athlete I ever saw play -- great in all four spots", said Gene Reilly in 1976 at the 50th reunion of their class.  Dutch retired in 1976 after 43 years at Baker Chemical, but continued to produce interesting items for craft shops.

            Dutch Purdy married Irene Reich, and Mildred Boyer Harris was a flower girl in their wedding.  They lived on Louis Street in Wilson Borough, and George walked his boxer past the Boyer house on occasion.    George later had both legs amputated below the knee and was confined to a wheel chair.  He died in Easton on July 3, 1996, at the age of 85.  Irene R. Purdy was born on May 29, 1912, and died in Easton on July 2, 2000, at the age of 88.

            George and Irene had two sons and a daughter, all Wilson High School graduates.  James Purdy was a wrestler at the school and served in the Navy.  Robert "Pete" Purdy earned letters at WHS in wrestling, soccer and track.  Diane Purdy married a Meyers, and her daughters were athletes at Easton High School. Stacy, Christa, and Tiffany Meyers, along with Trevor Purdy, carried on the family tradition in the 1980s.


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