Obituary: Robert “Bob” Purcell

Robert “Bob” Purcell, born in Derby, Connecticut on December 16, 1942 died peacefully at home in Clovis, California on June 17th at age of 73.

Bob is survived by his wife of 40 years, Joyce (McDougall), son, David of Chino Hills, CA, daughter, Lisa Purcell Berube of Shelton, CT, sister, Mary Scollin and her husband Dick of Seymour, CT and brother, Jim and wife Pat of Crossville, TN and his sister in law Karen Purcell.

He is preceded in death by his mother, Joan, his father, Francis, his brother, Brian and his eldest son, Robert Jr. all from Shelton.

He will be missed by his in-laws, Billie McDougall of Shelton, CT, Jim McDougall of Seymour, CT, Bill and Kathy Perkins of Hinsdale, NH and Dan and Sharon Woznicki of Orange, Ct along with many loving nieces and nephews.

Bob was born on December 16, 1942 in Derby, CT to Francis and Joan (Coastin) Purcell. Following graduation from Shelton High School in 1960, Bob proudly served in the United States Navy where he served during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He then studied engineering at Norwalk Tech and received an Associate’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Bob enjoyed an exciting career with Sikorsky Aircraft from 1964-1980. He led the Blade Shop team that developed and implemented composite rotor blade technology that contributed to winning the competitive fly-off for the UH60 program (ie. the Blackhawk Helicopter). During his tenure at Sikorsky, Bob also worked on Presidential Aircraft and led the composites team at the Bridgeport Plant in developing an all composite helicopter fuselage and airframe. He went on to lead composite operations at Martin Marietta in Baltimore, Rohr Industries in Riverside, California, General Dynamics in Pomona, California and Raytheon in Tuscon, Arizona. Bob was passionate about his work and his teams were responsible for implementing composites technology in a wide array of military and commercial aerospace products that are in use today.

Bob was a skilled craftsman who enjoyed creating beautiful upgrades in his homes. He enjoyed his homes and made them places to entertain and share with friends and family.

Riverview Funeral Home, 390 River Road, Shelton, handled arrangements. Burial with full military honors was held in Riverside Cemetery in Shelton.

Offer condolences online at