Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
E-mail this article
Print this Article

Robert A. Purple, 81, of Hollywood died Dec. 30, 2012, at his home.

Born July 25, 1931, in Newport, R.I., he was the son of the late William and Henrietta “Mary” Purple.

He graduated from The Citadel in June 1951 with a degree in electrical engineering and later received a master’s degree in nuclear engineering and civil engineering from MIT in 1958. He spent 20 years in the U.S. Army, serving in both Korea and Vietnam, and retired in 1972 as a lieutenant colonel. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious service while in combat and in the performance of his military duties. He spent the next 15 years working for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy. He served as the U.S. scientific representative to the European Community in the late 1970s in Brussels, Belgium.

After a blind date and a three-month whirlwind romance, he married Betty Robinson. His Army career meant frequent moves and the couple lived in France, Washington, Ohio, Kansas, Alabama, Florida and Virginia. Always looking for adventure, the couple purchased a home at Deep Creek Lake, where they and their four children enjoyed year-round fun water skiing, sailing, swimming and snow skiing.

In retirement, he and his wife enjoyed living on the water and established a business, Hollywood Studio Stained Glass, where they were commissioned to create a variety of stained glass art for individual homes and businesses. Their stained glass can be found in St. Mary’s County and throughout the United States. He and his wife supported Hospice of St. Mary’s through selling specially designed stained glass ornaments for 11 years. “Capt. Bob” loved the water, and he and his wife spent a great deal of time exploring the intercoastal waterway and traveling with family. He created wonderful memories for his family and friends through his many boating excursions.

In addition to his wife of 60 years, he is survived by his son, Richard Purple; three daughters and sons-in-law, Jeanne and David Lee, Elees and Kevin Anderson and Sue and Dave Bradley; and eight grandchildren, Erik, Nikki, Rebecca, Sharon, Christine, Adam, Emily and Annie.

The family will receive friends today, Jan. 4, from noon to 1 p.m. at St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church in Hollywood, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Hospice of St. Mary’s County, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

Arrangements are being handled by Brinsfield Funeral Home in Leonardtown.