Julie Rhodes-Purvis of Old Saybrook died surrounded by her family at Middlesex Hospital on Oct. 25 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 58 years old. Julie was born on May 18, 1959, in Hartford. She was the daughter of the late Elton and Dorothy Rhodes.
A life-long resident of Old Saybrook, she graduated from Old Saybrook Senior High School in 1977 and from Connecticut College in 1982. She spent a year teaching English in Osaka, Japan, and hosted students at her home in Connecticut over the years. She established her home on the original farmland of her grandparents, where she was able to keep horses and continue her passion for riding. An early childhood education major, her love for children led her to open My Second Home Preschool in Old Saybrook, where she was the owner and director for nearly 30 years. She loved spending family vacations in Englewood, Florida, where her parents had a winter home.
Above all, she was dedicated to her four children. In her short life, her kids were her sole reason for living, giving, for loving. They meant the world to her. She was gentle, selfless, patient, and a friend to all.
She is survived by her children Elizabeth Purvis and fiancé Joe Couture of Waterford; Marilyn Purvis of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania; Elton Purvis of New Haven; and Margaux Purvis of Poughkeepsie, New York. She is also survived by her husband of more than 30 years, Gerald Purvis of Old Saybrook; sister Lisa Rhodes of Old Saybrook; brother and sister-in-law Clifford and Lynne Rhodes of Old Saybrook; nephew Clayton Morell of Naples, Florida; niece Nicole Rhodes of Tampa, Florida; niece Lauren Rhodes of High Point, North Carolina; as well as many other loving extended family members.
Julie’s loving and generous spirit will continue to touch the lives of others and their families. It was her desire to donate her body to the Yale Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Memorial donations may be made to High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Inc., 36 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, CT 06371.
The family will hold an open house on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 2 to 5 p.m. at their home at 134 Schoolhouse Rd., Old Saybrook. Friends are invited to stop by and share their memories of Julie in celebration of her life.