© 2018 Huntington County Honors, Huntington, IN 46750

Class of

2016

Business & Professional

Don Purviance

The Purviance family was one of the first to settle in Huntington County, and Don Purviance built on that legacy as he spent his life committed to his community and his fellow residents.

 

For 50 years, there were very few organizations or agencies that did not feel the influence of his leadership. Though his father owned the Majestic Company, when Purviance joined the business in the1930s he had to work his way up the ranks, starting in the accounting department. He spent 10 years in marketing eventually moved up to president and general manager, where over the next 25 years he made Majestic into America's leading fireplace manufacturer. He cared deeply for his employees and pioneered a profit-sharing plan for Majestic workers.

 

Purviance served his country, joining the U.S. Navy a week after Pearl Harbor. Lieutenant Purviance served on the USS San Francisco and was awarded the Presidential Citation, the American Theater Ribbon, the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with 12 bronze stars, the Philippine Liberation Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

 

After returning from the military, Purviance spent the remaining 50 years of his life serving in numerous leadership roles in the county. He was president of the Huntington Chamber of Commerce, Huntington Rotary Club, Huntington Community Chest, the Huntington Library Board and Huntington County Development Committee. He was a member of Pathfinders Foundation and chaired the committee that created the United Way of Huntington County. Purviance served as director of the Red Cross, YMCA, Little League, Salvation Army, Samaritan Center,Huntington Hospital Foundation, Council on Aging and Aged, LaFontaine Country Club and Junior Achievement. He was named Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe in 1978.

 

Purviance and his wife,Emmy, were devoted supporters of the ministry and mission of Huntington College (University), and both were awarded honorary doctorates for their work for the college and the community. Don was a trustee for the college and also served as president of the Huntington College Foundation. He was a leader with Huntington's First Presbyterian Church, serving as deacon, trustee and elder,and was one of the founders of the Presbyterian Foundation.

 

Purviance died on March 17, 1999.