John Walter “Pete” Purcell, Sr. aged 71 of Riverside passed peacefully into rest on September 19, 2009. Born on August 12, 1938, John was a career military man, serving until 1976. He earned 3 Purple Hearts and 2 Bronze Stars during 2 tours of Vietnam.rn After leaving the service he worked at Michel’s Bakery in Philadelphia until joining the U.S. Post Office in 1982, working there until his retirement in 2006. In his last years he enjoyed traveling with his son Mario and his grandchildren to the Grand Canyon and back to Germany. He made sure made sure he left a funny memory at every stop for his grandkids to remember forever. John loved watching their games being the loudest voice in the crowd and was extremely proud of their accomplishments in the high school JROTC and the U.S. Air Force.rn With a work ethic that knew no bounds he was never one to turn down the opportunity to work. After working at the Post Ofiice, the rest of his day was spent delivering newspapers. Passing that work ethic on to his kids John taught them it wasn’t enough simply to mow their lawn or shovel the snow. They were taught to do this for their neighbors and any elderly folks in the neighborhood.rn John was easygoing and made friends everywhere he went. He had a seemingly endless supply of stories to share with those around him and was well known in the community. he never missed a Memorial Day parade. And when he did take some time to relax, he could usually be found watching a cowboy or war movie, preferrably with Clint Eastwood or John Wayne.rn He leaves behind his children: John W., Jr. (Rosanne) of Lumberton, Lloyd J. of New York City, Mario L. “Mike” (Christine) of Riverside, Andrew M. of California, and Kenneth A. of Hackensack. He also was survived by his former wife Ingeborg E. Purcell and his stepbrothers John (Cookie) Berger of Riverside and Louis Berger (Laura) of Delanco and his stepsister Catherine Green (Joe) of Philadelphia as well as 11 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren amongst others.rn Come celebrate 71 hard working years Thursday 6 to 8 pm and Friday from 10 am at the Sweeney Funeral Home in Riverside, where the service will follow at 11. Internment will be at Beverly National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to the VFW Post 3020 1125 S. Fairview St. Delran, NJ 08075.