“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” ~ II Timothy 4:6–8
Emma Lee Reynolds Purnell was born on January 12, 1947, in Lake Providence, Louisiana, to Elizabeth Reynolds and the late Samuel Wells. Emma’s family relocated to Tallulah, LA, while she was a child. She was the oldest of 13 children. Emma was educated in the Madison Parish School System. She worked as a cook at TA Truck Stop (Country Pride Restaurant), until her retirement.
On January 14, 2021, the Lord beckoned for Emma to come lay down her burdens and rest, and she quietly and submissively answered HIS call.
She accepted Christ at Rising Sun Baptist Church, under the leadership of the late Pastor Harvey and was baptized on August 31, 1986. After the church’s closure, she joined the New Light Baptist Church family, under the leadership of the late Bishop Paxton Branch, Sr., where she remained a faithful member, under the leadership of Pastor Johnny Robinson until her time of death. Love of her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, was her number one joy in life. She loved to worship at New Light while her health allowed and watch the New Light Youth Praise Team dancers and the Powell Brothers sing on Sundays. Emma met Joe Purnell, and they were united in marriage on September 20, 1980, and she remained committed to him until his death on June 25, 2018. Theirs was a love story like none other.
Emma was preceded in death by her husband, Joe Purnell; grandparents, Sam and Cherry Reynolds; stepfather, George Moore, Sr.; father, Samuel Wells; stepmother, Pearline Wells; sisters, Irma Jean Moore, Cherry Moore, and Willie Jean Pearson; brothers, Sam Willis Moore and Jimmy Reynolds; and great-granddaughter, Kejoya Reynolds.
She leaves to cherish her memories: her mother, Elizabeth Moore; her one and only daughter, Joyce Reynolds-Dunbar (Bobby Dunbar, Sr.); five sisters, Linda Moore (Jessie), Cora Moore (Bully), Essie Moore, Mary Payne, and Faye Young; five brothers, David Moore (Tracy), Larry Donnell Moore (Yumi), George Moore, Jr., Jessie Moore, and Frank Johnson; grandsons, Daryll Reynolds, Sr. (Sonya), Kevin Reynolds, Larry Reynolds, Sr., Bobby Dunbar, Jr., and KeDarlon Malik Reynolds, Sr.; 14 great-grandchildren, 11 great-great-grandchildren; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.
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