B.J. Puryear also known as “Wild Bill” and Gramps, departed from his earthly life on April 24, 2017, at the Spanish Peaks Veterans Facility in Walsenburg, Co. He was born January 13, 1934 in Borger, Texas.
B.J. grew up in Amarillo, TX and began drawing at an early age. An artist and sign painter by trade who could and would paint on just about anything. You could recognize his distinct lettering and art on bill boards and signs that he did throughout Amarillo, Raton, and Trinidad areas. His art work of mountains, seascapes, wild life, and native Americans is also recognizable. His work also included hundreds of custom automobiles and motorcycles all with perfectly placed pin striping, cool wheels and ready to fly down the road. He liked to make model cars and trucks using anything laying around and has done wood carvings including totem poles and bears.
B.J. was always proud to say he was in the U.S. Marines Corp. and served in the Korean War. As a 16 year old, the Marines made quite an impression and were influential to his “make every day count” attitude.
After his military service was complete, he returned home and was employed with the Santa Fe Railroad as a brakeman for a short time.
B.J. is proceeded in death by his parents Lissie Meadows and Joe Hudson Puryear, sister, Sophia Carper and brother Glenn Puryear, two grandsons, Joshua Atwater and David Puryear, niece, Glenda Lusk and her daughter, Stacy.
B.J. has four children with Virginia (Buscarini):
Sophie Atwater of Las Cruces, N.M. and Bernard Atwater of Springer, N.M., Charmaine and Will Demchek, Adeline and Jim Shell, Danny and Teni Puryear. And one child with Helen Torres, Billy and Pamela Puryear of Colorado Springs, Co. He was married to Michael Angelino who had a son “Jon” from a previous marriage. Michael was and is an artist in the Amarillo area.
His grandchildren include: Jessica and John Van Buskirk, Sasha and Allen Smithhart, Jeremiah Demchek, Billy “Boo” Puryear, Jeff and Jeremy Ulibarri , Danny Puryear, Amanda and Cody Bower. Great grandchildren include: James Bennett, Joshua and Jade VanBuskirk, Bryson and Kamren Smithhart, Lillian Bower, Landyn Archuleta.
Great niece, Kenny Diane Kuehler and her children, David Ray Kuehler, John Andrew Kuehler and Tracy Lemons and son Chase Lemons.
Niece, LaDonna (Sissy) and Charles Harris and their children and grandchildren, Cory Harris, Sidney, Hank and Citori and Cody Harris, Bailey, Pate, Paxton of Amarillo, TX.
La Donna loved her uncle Bill like a father and took care of him for many years in Amarillo, TX. And will have many good memories to hold onto.
A special friend and caregiver, Dolores Romero Segura cared for Gramps daily until he went to the VA Facility. We all appreciated her for her love for him. He loved her also.
B.J. Puryear always treasured the times together- and his faith in Jesus was more and more apparent during his final years. Encouraging words would include “There are many beautiful places to see and people to meet”. “Have faith, trust what your heart tells you is right” and kids, “Dream Big”.
B.J.Puryear will be remembered as a “Free Spirit” with great courage to live life as he wanted and on his terms. An adventure, an untamed soul and one who seemed to live life to its fullest every single moment. He once said “We aren’t here for a long time, so let’s have a good time”.
THUMBS UP to BJ!
Visitation will be on Friday, May 5th, 2017 from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00P.M. at the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home Chapel. Recitation of the Most Holy Rosary will be Saturday, May 6th, 2017 at 10:00 A.M. recited by Frank Cimino. Mass of the resurrection will follow at 10:30 A.M. with Father William Woytavich as the celebrant. Rite of Christian burial will be at the Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Raton, N.M.
Friends and family will gather to honor and remember “Wild Bill” at the Parish hall after the burial to celebrate his life. Let’s make it a good time to share your memories and stories with the family.
Arrangements and celebration of love for B.J. Puryear are under the direction of the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home of Raton.