Karen Purke of Troy is the new executive director of the Miami Valley Veterans Museum, whose leaders are exploring options for the museum’s future location.
Purke was named to the role in April with the decision of Mitch Fogle to step aside because of his expanded work responsibilities. He served as the museum’s executive director for four years.
The museum now is located in the Masonic Building on West Main Street in downtown Troy. Purke and her husband, Terry, have been involved in the museum since its founding nearly 10 years ago.
She said she offered to assist earlier this year when the building’s owners told leaders the building was for sale.
“We are investigating various options. Some include moving, but we are in the early stages of consideration,” Purke said. “We would love to stay, if possible, in Troy.”
Active measures are being made to prepare the museum for a move, if needed.
The museum covers a large area that spans from Columbus to the Indiana border and from Lima south to Cincinnati.
Although a new home may be needed, the museum will continue its mission, Purke said.
“We will continue to preserve the legacy of veterans now and in the future,” she said. “We believe the veterans museum is a great service to the veterans and the community.”
Purke has a long involvement in area veterans’ activities beginning with the Troy Veterans Memorial Park at Riverside Cemetery in 1991. She created a 48-foot mural, titled Marching Through Time, for the museum main hall showcasing veterans from 1795 to 2016.
She served as the executive director for the WACO Historical Society from 2005-2010.
Museum updates were made during the winter. It now is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information, visit www.theyshallnotbeforgotten.org.