Rich touched many lives with his outgoing personality and kind spirit.
Rich was born to Rosemary Powers and Robert L. Purdue. He grew up in Kinnelon, N.J., and graduated from Neuman Prep High School, where he played soccer and baseball, and wrestled.
He attended Purdue University and earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. He also played soccer for the Purdue Boilermakers, where he had the distinction of having his name on the front and back of his jersey – a fact that he was eager to share with a twinkle in his eye. He continued playing soccer for various teams up until five years ago.
Rich began his civil engineering career in Milwaukee. He earned and maintained the distinction of being a Professional Engineer (P.E.). As a licensed P.E., Rich traveled the world tackling the most difficult engineering challenges in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and the South Pacific, among other locations. He was the consummate professional who held others to his own high standards but was quick to recognize those who succeeded in meeting them.
He spent his last 20 years as the engineering manager for Gilbane Building Co./ITSI Gilbane Co., where he provided global construction and environmental services to support the needs of the U.S. government and the Department of Defense. His career ended too soon due to his illness.
Rich was an avid A’s and Ram’s fan, and you could always find him on Sunday watching football. He loved playing bocce in downtown Clayton. His team, “Throw Pallino First,” was named after him and his legendary antics. Rich did not try to blend in.
Rich loved taking his family on vacations to the Jersey Shore. One of Rich’s favorite pastimes was going to the local Clayton Club Saloon to visit with his friends and play a game of pool, or two. He would often regale his audience with stories of his fictional pirate heritage that contrasted greatly with his unwavering devotion to his family and friends. Rich was always the one who would be there to help anyone in need. He will forever be loved and missed by all who were lucky enough to know him.
Rich was predeceased by his beloved parents. He is survived by his loving significant other and companion, Julie Rogers; his devoted children, Ashley Lim (Phillip) of Concord, Vince Purdue (Megan) of Clayton and Brandon Landry of Clayton; and his four grandchildren, Elliot, Cora, Kara and Julia. He is also survived by his six brothers and sisters, Bob Purdue Jr. of Morristown, N.J., Jeanne Hantson of Jefferson, N.J., Donna Purdue of Lake Hopatcong, N.J., William Purdue of Wrentham, Mass., Michael Purdue of Hopatcong, N.J., and Stephen Purdue of Bangor, Penn.; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to a funeral service at 11 a.m. Friday, March 31, at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at the Clayton Club Saloon, 6096 Main St., Clayton. Family and friends are encouraged to come and share fond memories and stories.