Ellen Louise (Rauth) Purcell

April 3, 1930 ~ December 25, 2020 (age 90)


Ellen Louise (Robin) Purcell, 90, loving wife and partner to Bradford Purcell, passed away on December 25, 2020, but her indomitable spirit lives on in her husband, their five children, four grandchildren, and an extended group of family, friends and four-legged creatures from every area of her life.

Robin was born and raised in Hancock, MD by the late Philip and Evylon DeLawter Rauth. She earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College and for much of her life stayed actively involved with the college and alumnae.  After college, Robin moved to Washington, DC where she worked as an analyst for the National Security Agency until she married Bradford M. Purcell and they started their family in New York.

Robin will always be remembered for her…

--Clear and “soaring true soprano” voice which she shared in venues around the world, including the Smith College Chamber Singers (Northampton, MA), Carnegie Hall (NY), Karamu House (Cleveland, OH), Henry Street Playhouse (NY), Washington National Cathedral (Washington, DC), Tanglewood (Lenox, MA), and many others.

--Enduring enthusiasm for exploring the world, this started with her 1948-49 homestays in Europe through the Experiment in International Living (World Learning) and continued throughout her life as she travelled the globe.

--Passion for all things equestrian, which began with the Christmas gift of a cowboy outfit and continued through summer camps, horseshows, teaching and volunteer work with the Bedford Riding Lanes Association (BRLA) and United States Pony Club and through her ownership of numerous cherished horses and ponies.

--Dedication to community service and environmental issues wherever she lived and through positions she held on the Bedford Conservation and Planning Boards (Bedford, NY), the board of the Butler-Meyer Sanctuary (Mt. Kisco, NY), the board of the Westchester Land Trust (Bedford, NY) and others.

--Love of any outdoor activity or adventure, including horseback riding, tennis, swimming, competitive running, gardening and hiking, to name just a few of her favorites.

Robin is survived by her husband Bradford, their dog Oscar, her children Margaret Purcell-Alberg of Minneapolis, MN; Philip Purcell of Ridgefield, CT; Mark Purcell of Jamaica Plain, MA; Louisa Purcell of Goldens Bridge, NY; Christopher Purcell of Aurora, Canada; her daughters-in-law Caryn Bonforte, Theresa Gaudet, Lisa Cabral; son-in-law Chip Alberg; and her grandchildren Alexander (wife Regan Blum), Carson, Olivia and Sophia.

Her family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to the staff of St. John Paul II Care Center Memory Unity, especially Joan Ginty, Andrea Gottschalk, and Linda McCue. 

Robin’s family will hold celebrations of her life in both Hagerstown, Maryland and in Bedford, New York in 2021.  For those wishing to honor her memory, donations may be sent in her name to St. John Paul Care Center II Memory Care Unit, Smith College, Westchester Land Trust, Lyme Land Trust, or the Experiment in International Living.

Munson Lovetere Funeral Home assisted the family with the arrangements. To leave an online condolence please visit

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