Longtime Fairbanks broadcaster dies

Posted: Sunday, August 03, 2008

FAIRBANKS - Lowell Purcell, a longtime Fairbanks radio broadcaster, died two days after he was inducted into the Alaska Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Purcell, who battled health problems all his life, died in an Anchorage hospital late Thursday, a day before his 65th birthday. He was surrounded by his wife Leah, son Robert and daughter Aleshia

He was the voice behind the microphone at Alaska Goldpanners baseball games from the mid-1960s to the late 1980s, continuing sporadically until 2000.

"He just didn't call what he saw on the field," said Goldpanners manager Don Dennis. "He had a real knowledge and depth of the game and an historical perspective. He lived it from the time he was a young radio announcer, and he was very professional at his work."

Purcell was born in Hawaii and raised in Sacramento, Calif., beginning his broadcasting career at a young age at a local radio station.

He was 16 when his father accepted a job in Fairbanks in 1960. Purcell initially balked at the move, but soon started working at the first of several Fairbanks radio and TV stations.

He also served on the Fairbanks City Council for a decade, until the mid-1990s.

Plans are under way for a memorial celebration.

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