Norma Lynn Purinton, loving daughter, sister, cousin, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend to so many, passed peacefully on July 13th, 2023, following unexpected and acute heart complications.
Norma was born on January 30, 1941, in Danville, Illinois, to Martha Irene (Gustin) Cornelius and William Richard Cornelius. The young family of Martha, William (Bud), Norma and her twin sisters Carol and Donna, moved to Fort Lauderdale in the mid-fifties for employment opportunities and to be closer to the family. Norma attended and graduated from Fort Lauderdale High School in 1959 and then went on to study elementary education and home economics at Trevecca Nazarene University.
Growing up, Norma’s interests were varied. She was extremely creative and hardworking, loving to bake, sew, and craft when she was not helping her mother take care of her siblings. She played the clarinet throughout her high school career and learned just enough piano to work with children as a teenager at the local church.
Norma met her husband-to-be, David “Moose” Purinton during high school and the pair dated for a few years until making it “official” during her first summer break. After that, Norma never returned to her formal studies at Trevecca, but instead continued to cultivate her culinary and seamstress gifts as a full-time homemaker. Norma & David’s relationship was rooted in their shared faith and love of the Lord as they participated in youth group activities at Fort Lauderdale First Church of the Nazarene. They were married in August of 1963 and would have celebrated 60 years of wedded bliss this month. They lived in Fort Lauderdale until the mid-seventies when they moved to Pompano Beach, FL where they resided until their passing this year. Together they created a beautiful home and family, where Norma and he would raise their two boys David & Steven.
One of Norma’s greatest joys in life was creating a warm and welcoming home environment for her husband and boys. A homemaker by trade, she could stretch a dime and a pound of ground beef into something that would rival five-star restaurants. To bring in extra money for the family, Norma would lend her seamstress skills to a loyal customer base, along with caring for children in her home to support working parents. Hospitality was her middle name, as there was always room for one more person at the table, or an extra Christmas gift to give to a child in need. Many children found warmth and joy in Norma’s faith driven thoughtfulness. Her steadfast nature was a constant in the lives of so many.
Norma’s life of service extended beyond her home into the local church. She devoted herself in service to Pompano Beach First Church of the Nazarene, where for at least 3 decades, she created yet another environment for children to learn about Jesus’s love in the Kindergarten Department. Additionally, she lent her expertise to the church kitchen renovation, assisting with the design and layout that would support hosting multitudes of meals. Norma’s attention to detail was evident down to the very last soup spoon! As her busy schedule would permit, Norma would sing in the choir, however she was much happier behind the scenes, teaching her kindergarten class Christmas Carols and sewing nativity costumes for the Christmas Children’s Service. She and David opened their hearts and home to the church youth group, taking teenagers on camping trips and hosting many activities in their home as well.
As her boys got older and there were less children to mind, Norma poured herself into her baking and cooking, launching “Three Sisters Baking,” where she created delectables such as her famous “Ooey Gooey Butter Cake” along with “Martha’s Homemade Seedless Black Raspberry Jam” and countless other goodies. Every January, her humble home kitchen kicked into high gear as she would bake for weeks on end as a fan favorite booth at St Colman's Festival, with a loyal fanbase scooping up all their favorites for the year. She genuinely loved this sweet season of her life, getting to share her joy of baking while working alongside friends that she loved. As the years went by, Norma became caregiver for both of her parents, and then her loving husband, who just recently went home to be with Jesus January 23, 2023.
Norma was a resolute, caring, faithful, and wonderful woman of God that is so loved and will be missed by many. She has left an incredible legacy of faith and love to her family and all that were blessed to know her.
Mrs. Purinton is survived by her sisters, Donna Organ (Juan) and Carol Rouse (Bob); children David Purinton Jr (Kim) and Steven Purinton (April); his grandchildren Brent, Kara, Elizabeth and Caden and first great grandchild Mia. A host of cousins, and extended family along with a vast community of friends that loved and adored her.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday August 26, at 2pm at PBN Church: 916 NE 4th street, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made (and checks made payable) to the African Nazarene University Foundation, earmarked (memo) for the Purinton Family Scholarship. This is a cause near and dear to her & her family’s heart, as it provides educational support to impoverished communities that would not otherwise be able to access it. Checks should be sent to: ANU Foundation, 5016 Spedale Ct #416, Spring Hill, Tennessee 37174.