Louisiana State University

John M. Purnell, retired Eastern Shore reporter, dies

John M. Purnell, retired Eastern Shore reporter, dies

John M. Purnell, a veteran reporter who worked for Eastern Shore newspapers and earlier for The Palm Beach Post, died Thursday from undetermined causes at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The West Ocean City resident was 73.

John Michael Purnell was born and raised in Ocean City. He was the son of William H. Purnell, who owned the Atlantic Hotel on the boardwalk at Wicomico Street, and Sarah Lynch Purnell, who helped operate the business with her husband. The family’s ancestral roots go deep into Worcester County.

A 1962 graduate of Stephen Decatur High School, he obtained a journalism degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he edited the campus newspaper, The...

77°