Council Member Jim Purvis, 82, died early Monday at the Cornerstone Hospice House following a brief illness.
“It was an honor to know and work with Jim as well as call him a friend. I thank God for placing him in my life as I learned a great deal from him and I will always cherish those memories,” Mayor Tim Murry said. “The City and I will forever be in debt to Jim for his wisdom, insight, frankness and above all, the love he bestowed. Rest in peace my friend.”
Shortly after he moved to Clermont in 1998 and long before he held an official office, Purvis was interested in local government. He regularly attended council meetings, was well-informed on the issues at hand, and always eager to share his thoughts.
When Purvis’ neighbor, dear friend, and Seat 2 Council Member Ray Goodgame decided not to seek re-election due to his declining health, he convinced Purvis to run. With a focus on public safety and fiscal responsibility, Purvis was elected in November 2019 and re-elected in 2021.
In 2023, he ran un-opposed and was sworn into his third term Nov. 14. His peers selected him to serve as Mayor Pro Tem in 2022 and 2023.
“I am so going to miss Jim,” Council Member Michele Pines said. “What a bigger-than-life person, tell it like it was and get it done contradiction he was. Loud and at times brash, yet also a humble and caring man with a big heart.”
In 2004, Purvis joined the City of Clermont’s Code Enforcement Board and served until 2012. His huge appreciation for first responders, especially firefighters, became known
and in 2014, he joined the Firefighters Pension Board of Trustees and served for five years.
To ensure Clermont had a strong voice beyond the city limits, Purvis represented Clermont on the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) from 2019 to 2023 and the Tourist Development Council (TDC) since 2022.
“I met Jim about six years ago when I first considered getting involved in local government,” Council Member Michael Gonzalez said. “He became such an inspiring mentor and guiding force, offering words of encouragement and sharing his experiences to help me learn. He will certainly be missed.”
Purvis was an adamant fan and supporter of the Montverde Academy and helped establish a now-thriving program designed specifically for developing school leaders. He also served on the Cornerstone Hospice Board of Directors.
An avid car enthusiast, Purvis could recite specifications from the engine to the interior on many rare and exotic vehicles. He also enjoyed model trains, boats, cruises, entertaining and socializing, and made friends everywhere he went. He always believed dogs made life a little better and welcomed several into his family.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Family Christian Center Church, 2500 S. Highway 27 in Clermont. For those unable to attend, the service can be viewed at http://fcclive.com/live . Instead of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Cornerstone Hospice Foundation for the Mike Conley House, 2445 Lane Park Road, Tavares, FL 32778.