November marked the end of the 100th anniversary of the American Legion Auxiliary. Malverne American Legion Post 44’s Ladies Auxiliary was searching for a way to commemorate the event. That’s when the group came across longtime member Barbara Purcell, who turned 100 years old earlier this year.
“She’s kept up her dues every year like a good auxiliary member,” said Ladies Auxiliary President Dr. Carol Hassett.
Purcell was recognized during the village’s Nov. 4 meeting at Village Hall, in which the Ladies Auxiliary unveiled a decorated poster with a picture of Purcell’s face to celebrate her 100th birthday.
“When she was living here in Malverne, right after World War II, she was extremely active in the American Legion auxiliary,” Hassett said. “This is our way of making a tribute to her and the auxiliaries.”
Purcell, who now lives in North Carolina, was married to former Town Supervisor, County Executive and Malverne Mayor Francis Purcell. In addition, Purcell was a past president of the Ladies Auxiliary. Malverne Mayor Keith Corbett noted that in the mayor’s office, there is a bronze bust of Mayor Purcell, which has been there for decades.
“He was a big part of this village,” Corbett said, “especially in the middle part of the century, so this was a great family and person to honor.”