Thomas ‘Bear’ Purta

Friday, January 12, 2018

Thomas “Bear” Purta, 75, of Marshall, died Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, at St. Luke’s Hospital on the Plaza in Kansas City.

Memorial services, followed by military rites, will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, at Campbell-Lewis Chapel in Marshall, with William W. Harlow officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. In keeping with Bear’s sense of humor, and his love of the Denver Broncos, everyone is encouraged to wear orange and blue. Private family inurnment will be held at a later date. Memorials are suggested to Blackburn American Legion Post 478, and an online guestbook is available at

Born April 29, 1942, in Cleveland, Ohio, he was the son of the late Alexander Purta and Alice Eva Rekus Purta. Bear was a 1960 graduate of Glendale High School in Glendale, Calif., and then served in the United States Navy. On March 15, 1980, he married Bobbie Jo Davenport, who survives of the home. Bear’s career was spent as an engineer and worked for Continental Airlines and Marriott Hotels. After moving to Marshall 10 years ago, he worked in the cafeteria of Bueker Middle School and was a current member of Blackburn American Legion Post 478.

In addition to his wife, Bobbie Jo, he is survived by three children, Laurie Timmons and husband Darrell of Marshall, Thomas O’Connell and wife Roxanna of Marshall, and Clifford Purta and wife Teresa of Golden, Colo.; one stepson, Monty Levere of the state of Texas; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.