Michael Scott Purkey was born April 6, 1976, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He also lived in Morristown, Memphis and Nashville. He graduated from David Lipscomb High School in 1994, and received a Bachelor’s Degree from David Lipscomb University in 1999. He is the only son of Mike and Judy Purkey of Nashville. He attended the Donelson Church of Christ.
Scott’s two favorite people were his Mom and his Dad. If you talked to Scott very long at all, you would know that he was devoted to them, and they were devoted to him. Scott grew into a young man who was more than their son. He was their closest friend. On his Dad’s 50th birthday, Scott wrote in his card that he loved and respected his Dad and hoped that he would be one-half the man that he was. His Mom is a wonderful Mother who shared a quick wit and lively sense of humor with her son – especially when he could make it at her expense. Mike and Judy’s greatest joy came when they were doing something for Scott. Cooking for him and his friends, helping him with some project from school or work, or just being with him at home brought joy and contentment for their family. Scott was a combination of the best of his Mom and Dad. His great personality, kindness, friendliness and good-heartedness came from them. They helped him become a fine young man of great character and faith who enjoyed all of life. Every thought and memory of Scott is pure joy.
He also loved his Grandparents, Mammaw, Granddaddy, Mimi and Papaw. He had a special relationship with his Papaw Purkey. When he was little, Scott would say, “I want to BE Papaw when I grow up.” His Papaw baptized him into Christ. Scott and Papaw were true Big Orange fans, and for 21 years they attended almost every home UT football game in Knoxville. It was an all-day event, starting early on those Saturday mornings, even for night games. Their day took them on a path over the campus that included arcade games – which sometimes included a nap for Papaw as Scott used up lots of quarters – eating at the Student Center and several other places along the way, the “Vol Walk” and getting into the stadium just as the gates opened. You could never be too early to a Vols football game!
Scott enjoyed his extended family. Aunt Carole, Aunt Mickey, Aunt Mary, Uncle Ken, Uncle Ron, Uncle Steve and Uncle Stacy and cousins, Kenny 2, Paula, Brent, Caroline, Katie Grace and Cross were important to Scott. It was easy to indulge Scott with his winning smile and good disposition. His Aunt Carole was particularly guilty of indulgence, especially during his annual summer visit with her when he was young. Three-day tickets to Opryland and stopping at every arcade passed going anywhere were the order of the day. He was quite tolerant of her efforts to provide ONE educational experience during the visit, but was glad when it was over and he could get back to the “fun” things.
Childhood was filled with fun, laughter, family and friends. Scott loved church camp both as a camper and counselor. He had fun playing on his High School football team. He loved going to races and almost any sports event. He was an avid video game player and sometimes fancied himself and his friends as a successful rock band. He enjoyed playing guitar, reading and was a great writer.
His Dad wanted it said that though Scott was an only child, he had a lot of “brothers”. Among them are Ross, Adam, Keyser, Andy, Gaylord, Lilly, Juan, Paul and the entire Brotherhood of Delta Nu. These guys shared their lives, kept each other’s secrets, supported each other when needed and were truly “friends for life”. He also had longtime friends like Phil, Matt, Dave, Justin and Brandon. Scott loved spending time with his friends. His almost weekly dinners with Ross were special to him and rooming with any combination of these guys was a source of great fun and friendship. He especially loved Adam. They shared similar values, sense of humor, love for family and love for God.
It is important that everyone know – SCOTT WAS IN LOVE WITH LAUREN. It wasn’t easy to date one of your best friends’ sisters, but with Keyser’s permission, he did. To quote Scott, “She’s THE ONE!” He loved her beauty, sweetness, intellect and the way she could match his sarcasm and sharp wit. He was so proud of her accomplishments and her determination to meet her professional goals, her quiet goodness and he knew that he loved her in an everlasting way. He did and he still does.
Scott loved openly and deeply. It would be almost impossible to find someone who did not like Scott. He would do anything for anybody. He was strong in body, mind, heart and faith. It is so hard for us to bear his absence. He would accept the necessary grieving, but encourage the full embracing of this life with fun, laughter and joy. And he would be so anxious for everyone to live so that all of the great blessings of this life could be continued in eternity.
If he could say anything today, he would say: Treasure your family and love them no matter what. Find good friends and keep them close. Seek a true love and cherish it. Deepen your faith in God and walk toward Him every day.
We should celebrate this man who was so loved and so loving in a life well lived.
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