Cover photo for Mae Lecount Purves June 22, 1922 ~ January 1, 2023's Obituary

Mae Lecount Purves June 22, 1922 ~ January 1, 2023

Mae Lecount Purves June 22, 1922 ~ January 1, 2023

Mae LeCount Purves passed away serenely under the loving care of the By His Grace CFH and Lighthouse Hospice on January 1, 2023.   She was 100 years old having celebrated that landmark birthday in June this year.  She was born in Syracuse, Indiana and moved with her family as a child to the Greene, New York area.

Mae was a lifelong caregiver, having finished a year of nurses’ training after graduating from high school and very shortly thereafter working on the staff of a childrens’ home in New Jersey.  She took her first major step in caregiving when she began employment for the family of the Reverend Daniel Poling as a personal secretary to Dr. Poling’s wife who was losing her.  Dr. Poling was a nationally known forerunner of a series of ministers in the U.S. who had sizeable national followings in print and other media. Mae’s association with the Poling’s began in Philadelphia in December 1948 and continued in New York City where the Poling’s resided until the late 1960s.  During this time, Mae became their “go to help” as cook, entertainment planner, chauffeur, and companion on many world tours.

In 1954 one of these trips was a 2-month cruise from New York to the Mediterranean which no doubt Mae would never have dreamed she would have as a memory of a lifetime.  In fact, Mae’s association with the Polings was so special that she virtually became a member of the family,

Dr. Poling, although essentially a city dweller, loved to fish and brought Mae with him to Boise on what became regular summer getaways.  On one of these getaways she met the Norman Purves family in Boise. They would remain in close contact for some time.

In 1969 Mae left the Polings to marry Merrit Smith, a friend of the Polings who lived in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Merrit was a governmental affairs representative for a large insurance company who regularly entertained congressional and government officials in his home.  Merrit unfortunately became ill increasingly with Parkinson’s disease.  Mae once again became a caregiver and was so for most of their marriage.  Merrit passed away after an extended illness in 1987.

In November 1987 Mae married our father Norman Purves and the couple moved to Boise shortly thereafter. For years they traveled to all parts of the U.S. and Canada.  They also regularly camped throughout Southwestern Idaho and the Boise hills.

Norman had been a governing board member for the Good Samaritan Home in Boise before they were married, but Mae joined him there in 1992 and stayed active on the board into her nineties. She was an enthusiastic fundraiser who loved to participate in the auctions in which she regularly offered to prepare dinners and entertain groups for high bidders.

Norman although still trailering and fishing in area around Boise at 92, contracted lymphoma and Mae once more became a caregiver for as he battled his cancer until passing away in 2002.

Mae was proceeded in death by her parents, an older brother Charles and three younger sisters, Joyce, Fae and Joy. The closest of these to Mae just passed away at 93 years on December 27, 2022

Mae is succeeded by niece Patti Lewis, of Endicott, NY and nephew Bob Utter, Binghampton, NY, stepson, Ralph Purves of El Cajon, CA and stepdaughter Norma Warren of Swedesboro, NJ and grandchildren Nicole Boone, El Cajon, Kammeron Halfen, Mullica Hill, NJ and Aaron Warren Woodstown, NJ and Great grandchildren: Miles and Avery Boone (El Cajon) and Katie Mae Warren Woodstown.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to either

Lighthouse Hospice

2667 E. Gala Court, Ste.110

Meridian, ID 83642


The Good Samaritan Home

3501 W. State St.

Boise, ID 83703

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mae Lecount Purves June 22, 1922 ~ January 1, 2023, please visit our flower store.


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