September 16, 1949 ~ February 5, 2021
Born in: Bronx, NY
Resided in: Indianapolis, IN
Celia Ellen Greene-Purvis “Cookie” was born on September 16, 1949 in the Bronx, NY to the late Warren Greene, Sr. and Odessa Lee (Wilson) Greene. Additionally, eight other siblings, Warren Green (Garla), Norma Fagans (James), Melvin Greene (Dissiree), Gerald Greene (Debera), Thelma Brown, Sharon Greene (Walter Truxler), Mitzi Greene and William Greene celebrated her life journey. She received her education in the New York City school system.
A songbird with the talent to harmonize with anyone, Cookie would hone her skills singing with her friends in the Bronx. After moving to Indianapolis, IN in the late 70’s, Cookie would become a Pharmacist Technician at St. Vincent Hospital. But not being able to shake the calling of music, she would later lend her voice as the lead singer in several local bands. Cookie’s home was always filled with music and it was common for her to have living room singing sessions with her nieces, children, and friends.
Cookie’s love for children was evident when, in the early 80’s, she babysat for 13 kids at one time, in order to stay home and raise her three children. Her impact was so great, that most of these children still refer to her as their “Aunt Cookie”. After working as the Senior’s Activity Coordinator at a Community Center she helped create a decade before, Cookie once again turned her attention to the care of children and became a foster mother and adopted two daughters. Her love and knack for being a caregiver blossomed into a successful career training other foster parents to care for the most vulnerable children. A career she took much pride in, and her students fondly recall her teachings and techniques years later.
On April 12. 2000, Cookie married Warren Purvis of Elizabeth City, NC, and together they adopted 8 more children and fostered more than 100. The Purvis’ home quickly became one of the most sought-after foster homes and they also won the Foster Parents of the Year Award multiple times. Often referred to as the glue that kept her family together, Cookie rarely met a stranger and if she liked you, you were family.
Surrounded by the love of her husband, two of her daughters, and her best friend of over 40 years, Cookie was called home on Friday, February 5, 2021. She leaves behind to cherish her memory and continue her legacy of love and caregiving her husband, Warren Purvis, her children: Andrea Moore (Gary), Damien Greene, Nicole Boone (Shawn), Ashley Purvis, Lisa O’Vivion (Mike), Joslyn Purvis, Nicole Greene (Chris), Stephanie Purvis, Vajaun Love (Tyrese), Devin Purvis, London Purvis, Colin Purvis and Dexter Purvis. Daughters-in-Love: Yolanda Moffitt-Santiago (Deceased), and Sophia Brisker. 24 grandkids and 7 great-grandchildren. And a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and family both blood and love born.
She was preceded in death by her father, Warren E. Greene, Sr., mother, Odessa L. Greene, sister, Norma Fagans, and Brother, Gerald Greene.
Cookie’s Facebook page will remain active and all are welcome to share memories and final words to her there.