MADISON COUNTY - Elizabeth Cornelison Murray was born in Athens on November 11, 1927. She died on Friday, June 7, 2013, following an extended pulmonary illness. She was the youngest child of Jessie (Powell) and Walton Cornelison of Athens. Mrs. Murray was preceded in death by her parents, seven brothers, and two sisters.
Survivors include her husband of 67 years W.C. "Bill" Murray, whom she married after he returned from World War II; daughters, Rev. Jennifer Horton, Athens, Julianne Murray, Hull, and Janice Flanagan, Gainesville; grandchildren, Tom (Maria) Horton, St Petersburg, Fla., David (Beth) Horton, Yakoda AFB, Japan, Michelle (Christian) Amouroux, Athens, Julie (Rick) Lanard, Athens, and Jess (Abby) Logan, Decatur; great-grandsons, Tristan Amouroux, Joshua Horton, Jakob Amouroux, Hayden Amouroux, Seth Lanard, and Silias Lanard; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In 2000, she retired with 25 years of service from St. Mary's Hospital, where she had been the director of the medical records department. As a pioneer in the field of medical records, she was one of the first persons to be certified as a medical records librarian. Her work at the state and national levels to bring consistency for certification to this new field was noted with recognition and commendation.
After retiring, she began a career of extensive volunteer work. She was an active member of Mt. Hermon Presbyterian Church of Ila for many years, serving numerous terms as elder and clerk of session. She also served on denominational committees. She was part of the Committee on Ministry of Northeast Georgia Presbytery for five terms. She was a commissioner to the General Assembly, a national meeting of Presbyterians. Her desire to help others extended beyond the borders of the USA, she was on a mission team to build houses in Pedras Negras, Mexico. In later life, she was an active member of the women's Bible study group at Central Presbyterian Church in Athens, where she is a current member.
Mrs. Murray was an avid reader, often reading five or more books in a week; her taste in literature ranged from classic to light fiction along with nonfiction and theology subjects. She also spent time researching many community issues and made statements in public forums in Madison County; she routinely lobbied state representatives on behalf of the public library system in Georgia. She was a past president of the Madison County Library Board, past president of the Friends of the Library, and a member of the Athens Regional Library Executive Board. She was one of the driving forces for remodeling of the Madison County Library. The book sales for the library were one of her favorite events; a few days before her death, she had designated books from her shelves to go to the library for the book sale.
Gardens were important to her and she enjoyed visiting different sites to see various settings. Her collection of daffodils and day lilies were a source of fun...always looking forward to seeing the new bulbs available each year. One year she traveled to Holland to see the tulips in bloom. Another year, she went to Hawaii to see tropical gardens. While in Italy, she visited botanical gardens as well as gardens of individuals...no garden was too vast or small...she liked to see the plants in their unique settings...the azaleas at Callaway Gardens remained a favorite. She was a master gardener and voluntered many years at the State of Georgia Botanical Gardens. Her camellia garden located in her back yard near the lake is a pleasant view from her kitchen window and it also has provided many blooms for family and friends through the years.
Additionally, she was a member of Athens Chapter #268 Order of the Eastern Star. She served as Worthy Matron for three terms as well as Grand Representative.
Elizabeth Murray had a zest for life; she was fully engaged in her family, her church, and her community. She loved the exploits of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, following their activities closely...she often asked for an update on their current lives. Her last week of life found her looking to the needs of her family; she prayed for them, including those whom she would not know in this life. One of her final admonitions was to her daughters to take care of their Dad and to make sure they knew the location of all the keys and important papers. Truly, a legacy of self investment and concern for others is left for all who knew and respected her...praise be to GOD for all that was good and faithful in the life of Elizabeth Cornelison Murray.
A service to celebrate her life as Witness to the Resurrection will be held on Saturday, June 15, at 2 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church of Athens. The Rev. Robert Bohler and the Rev. Joe Berry will officiate. The family will greet guests at a reception in the gathering area immediately following the service. Interment of remains will be held in a private service at Oconee Hills Cemetery in Athens.
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home, Athens, is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Central Presbyterian Church.