Glennville man known for eating lunch with picture of late wife passes away

Clarence Purvis passed away Friday, April 23 at Ogeechee Area Hospice.
Clarence Purvis passed away Friday, April 23 at Ogeechee Area Hospice.(WTOC)
Updated: Apr. 26, 2021 at 4:14 PM EDT
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GLENNVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - Clarence Purvis passed away Friday, April 23 at Ogeechee Area Hospice.

You may remember Mr. Purvis from a story by WTOC back in 2017. Mr. Purvis was known for dining at Smith’s Restaurant in Reidsville with his wife Carolyn. After she passed away, Mr. Purvis continued to dine with her, sort of.

He began dining in his usual spot at their favorite restaurant with her picture, making their love unforgettable.

After WTOC’s story on Mr. Purvis aired, CBS News also did a story on his eternal love for his wife.

“His life has told a story,” said son Dale Purvis.

“He became world-known just to show his love for his wife, how much she meant to him,” said his daughter Dianne Knight.

“And that was the environment we grew up in all our life,” said Dale.

As loved ones gathered, Tuesday, to celebrate his life, they recall how the two of them put others first and truly set an example for everyone.

“There’s just not that type of love in this world anymore,” said Dianne.

And when he wasn’t at lunch, he’d often be found at the cemetery keeping watch over her grave.

“He went to the cemetery five or six times a day. He went up until the day he couldn’t drive anymore,” said daughter Donna Burkhalter.

A few years later, Smith’s Restaurant closed their doors. Mr. Purvis found a new place for him and his wife.

“We tried to cook for him or take him, nope. It wasn’t nothing but the Dairy Queen,” said Dianne.

His children say they try to show the same love he did, but it’s just few and far between.

“That’s what this world needs today. The kind of love that they had for one another,” said Dianne.

What his children say keeps them at peace is knowing he’s with his true love again.

“The pictures of him after momma passed, you hardly saw him smile. As opposed to when we had pictures of him before. But now he’ll be smiling all the time,” said Dale.

“He’s smiling talking to momma. Momma talking to him,” said Donna.

Clarence Purvis was 97.

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