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Co-Founder of Purnell Sausage Dies

April 25, 2004

SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Clara Bridges Purnell, co-founder of Purnell Sausage Co., died Saturday at her home in Simpsonville. She was 102.

Purnell, a native of Springfield, Tenn., helped start the business in 1932 with her husband, Fred B. Purnell Sr. She helped grind and season the meat, packing it in hand-sewn cloth bags marked Purnell’s ``Old Folks″ country sausage. The recipe was Fred’s mother’s, brought from his family’s Tennessee farm.

The family moved from Nashville to Louisville in 1950. Six years later, the Purnells settled in Simpsonville.

The Purnells’ plant, 20 miles east of Louisville, produces more than 100,000 pounds of sausage daily and is sold to grocery stores and restaurants in 44 states. The company is still family owned and operated.

Allen Purnell of Simpsonville said on Sunday that he would remember his mother’s faith and her outlook on life.

``She thought you ought to keep your mind thinking positive,″ he said. ``She lived what she preached.″

Clara Purnell also is survived by another son, Robert E. Purnell of Louisville; a daughter, Betty Moffett of Simpsonville; 12 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

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