501 Snow Hill Road | Salisbury, Maryland | 21804
Service Day Visitation
Obituary of Lester Sebastian Purnell, Sr.
Lester Sebastian Purnell Sr, took his heavenly journey to be with the Lord on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 from the comfort of his home in Delmar, MD. He was born on March 26th, 1957 to Ruth Gale Carey and the late Roland Lester Purnell. He received his formal education in the public schools of Wicomico County and graduated from James M. Bennett High School, Salisbury, MD in 1975.
Lester, or “Brother Les”, as he was affectionately known for many years, received his early Christian upbringing at Coolsprings United Methodist Church, Girdletree, MD and Mt. Calvary United Methodist Church in Fruitland, MD. His love for gospel music was well known. Anyone who had an opportunity to hear him play knew that God had blessed his hands as a gifted pianist. He was a founding member of the New Generation gospel choir, and for many years, he could be found “ticklin’ the ivory keys” for local groups and churches on the Lower Eastern Shore. Most recently, he was a member of Zion United Methodist Church in Salisbury, MD, where he faithfully served their music ministry, specifically as pianist for the Men’s Choir, as well as, the Praise & Worship team. Even as his health declined, Lester faithfully continued to serve God through the ministry of music, playing the weekly Sunday Service at Zion, as well as, his childhood church Mt. Calvary United Methodist Church.
Throughout his time with us, Lester touched many people. His professional work spanned many walks of life, and also included service to Maryland’s National Guard. From Dresser Wayne to the Maryland State Police, from Private Investigator to most recently, social worker with the State of Maryland’s Department of Social Services, he clearly had a calling to serve the public. He was also well recognized as an active supporter of Relay for Life, Wicomico County.
Lester was loved by all, and loving memories will be cherished by his two children, Lester Purnell Jr (Tanisha) of Laurel, MD, and Kendrick Purnell of Los Angeles, CA; one grandchild, Lester Purnell III; four sisters, Selina Dickerson of Owings Mills, MD, Carol Hyman-Wilson (Lawrence) of West Virginia, Brenda Moore (Clifford) of Bowie, MD, and Connie Harmon (Gerald) of Salisbury, MD; three brothers, Oscar Purnell of Perry Hall, MD, Carlton Mills of Wilmington, DE, and Lawrence Purnell (Dionne) of Salisbury, MD; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
In addition to his father, he was also preceded in death by his brothers, Orlando Purnell and Roland Reginald Purnell.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 13th at 12pm at Mt. Calvary United Methodist Church in Fruitland, 205 N Divistion St
Fruitland, MD 21826 MD. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. An evening visitation will be held April 12th from 6pm – 8pm at the same location. The family welcomes guests to share their reflections and memories of Lester at the evening visitation service on Friday.
Arrangements are in the care of Stewart Funeral Home by Holloway and Downey, P.A., 821 West Rd., Salisbury, MD 21801.
821 West Road
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