Purdy served as Keene town supervisor for 17 years, during two separate time periods, 1970 to 1982 and 1992 to 1997, leaving office for the last time in 1997.
He was Disaster Preparedness director from 1984 until 1991 and Review Board director for 1981-82.
He planned a run for state senator in 1984 but never filed the independent petitions he had circulated to run against incumbent Republican Ronald Stafford of Plattsburgh.
Purdy also had an unsuccessful State Assembly run against incumbent Andy Ryan of Plattsburgh in 1974.
Starting his political career as a Democrat, Purdy later switched parties to Republican, saying he agreed more with GOP philosophies.
Purdy operated an auction service out his barn in Keene Valley for many years. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
Purdy was praised for his actions during the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, when he took charge of rescue operations after a bus carrying 48 people overturned on icy roads in Keene.
Purdy began work on an Essex County Enhanced 911 emergency-call system in the early 1990s. The system became a reality in 2008, 11 years after he left county service.
In 1980, Purdy began a drive to allow Off Track Betting in Essex County, something that eventually came to fruition. An OTB parlor is now located in Ticonderoga.
County Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) said the board plans a memorial for Purdy when it meets Monday.
“The Board of Supervisors has offered our sincere condolences to the family of Bob Purdy. He served with both my father and grandfather on the Board of Supervisors.
“We will lower the flag to half-staff at the County Government Center.”
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