RICHMOND: On October 12, 2019, Margaret Ann Purvis, (aka Margo), at 73 years of age, passed from this earthly plane after a long illness. Residing at Friends Fellowship Community she was comforted in this passing by loved family members, friends and caregivers. While we will grieve her loss, that feeling of loss is only there because of the gift she gave all of us by being who she was.
Margaret was passionate about life and had a gift for living it fully. There was never a stage she wouldn’t get on or a friend she couldn’t make. And it was hard not to be her friend. In her last months she dominated every room with her smile and spirit. And she always gave much more than she received.
She was energetic, funny, witty, a free spirit, full of enthusiasm. Some might describe her as flamboyant with a flair for things and never subtle. And she always seemed to embrace the joy and grace of life.
Margaret had a generous, kind, compassionate loving heart and a unique way of touching people’s lives. Spend some time with her and you just came away feeling better. You could see this in her work at Dunn Center as a family and child therapist and a divorce mediator. She had a unique, intuitive gift for this. A gift that never left her.
She loved crafts and painting and took great pride in her yard and gardens. She loved to mow the yard. She was talented, had a gift for interior decorating and played several musical instruments.
Perhaps her greatest role was as mother, grandmother and wife. She loved her family. Daughters Stephanie (Kent) Roman and Elizabeth (Paul) Bryant were her joy. She cherished every moment she had with them, and grandchildren Kalyn, Kadence and Dylan, and celebrated every success. They have had her unconditional love and devotion.
That same love and devotion was something she shared with her soul mate of 21 years, husband Gary Ratliff, with whom she shared a birthday, November 13. Gary brought to their marriage two sons, and three grandchildren, Doug Ratliff with Joe, and Brian (Elaine) Ratliff with Jackson and Xander. She welcomed them as if they were her own.
Raised in Hagerstown, IN, she graduated high school in 1963, and Ball State University, with a BS Degree, in 1967. After this she began a career long quest to improve the lives of children and struggling families as a teacher, probation officer, and child and family therapist. In her 30 years at Dunn Center, as a counselor and mediator, she saw her role as an advocate for children, helping to determine the outcomes of hundreds of custody/visitation disputes. Seeking common ground was her goal, and common ground was what was best for children. She was a “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”. Having touched so many lives in this way was her legacy. Hope, grace and kindness have been her guiding light.
A list of her accomplishments are many, including Advanced Practitioner Member of the Association for Conflict Resolution; member of the Academy of Family Mediators; Licensed Social Worker; Special Education Mediator for the State of Indiana; developed the course “Helping Kids Cope with Divorce; developed a Peer Mediation Training Program; and was a driving force in the development of the Conflict Resolution Center.
Margaret was preceded in her passing by her mother and father, Betty and Guy Welliver, and her sister Mary Welliver. She is survived by her sister, Janie Welliver, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family members.
Arrangements are being handled by Culberson Funeral Home, Hagerstown, and a private graveside service will be held at the family’s convenience. A Celebration of “The Life and Times of Margaret Purvis” will be held at Friends Fellowship Community, Richmond, on Sunday, October 27, beginning at 2:30 pm. This will take place in the Community Room. There will be a brief open mic time beginning at 3:00 for you to share your memories and stories, both funny and touching. You might want to bring your dancing shoes.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the General Endowment Fund of Friends Fellowship Community. The Friends Fellowship staff have always treated Margaret with kindness and respect, and the family cannot thank the caregivers enough for their devotion and tenderness. They have been a shining star in a difficult time. Online condolences may be left at