HULL - W.C. ”Bill” Murray was born in Madison County on September 6, 1923. He died on Saturday, June 14, 2014, 90+ years of life.
His wife, Elizabeth Cornelison Murray, preceded him in death a year ago. They were married for 67 years, having wed after World War II.
Survivors include daughters, Rev. Jennifer Horton, Athens, Julianne Murray, Hull, and Janice Flanagan, Hull; grandchildren, Tom (Maria) Horton, St Petersburg, Fla., David (Beth) Horton, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, 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 Silas Lanard; brother, Rufus (Margie) Murray, Hull; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was the oldest child of Irene (Strickland) and William T. Murray of Hull and was preceded in death by his wife, a son, Jonathan Murray, parents, and one sister.
During World War II, he served in the United States Navy, achieving the rank of Seaman First Class as a gunner on the USS Santee, which participated in all five theaters of the war. The ship’s crew received many awards and commendations among which was the Presidential Citation. One of his favorite sayings, “I’ve been around the world twice and through the Panama Canal once.” pointed to the extensive engagements of his aircraft carrier. At the conclusion of World War II, he was discharged and returned to his job at A&P, which had been held for him while he was at war. Coming home to Madison County, he remained a resident for the remaining years of his life.
Trained as a carpenter after his military service, he was a Lifetime Member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenter’s and Joiners of America. In 1985, he retired with 25 years of service from Kewaunee Technical Laboratory Furniture, where he had been an installer and job superintendent. Supervising the installation of science lab equipment, his work required him to travel extensively in the southeast and midwest.
He was a 50-year member of Mt Vernon Masonic Lodge #22 of Athens, and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Atlanta. Additionally, he was a member of Athens Chapter #268 Order of the Eastern Star.
Visiting with his family was his favorite activity. He always wanted to know what was happening in each person’s life. There was never enough detail, he wanted to know everything, especially when his children and grandchildren were moving to a new area to live. He kept up with the weather in each location always mindful of storm activities. Having survived two tornados in six weeks, he was very cautious where storms were concerned.
His hobbies were hunting and fishing, which he began as a boy. He looked forward to deer season every year, ever aware of the trophy that he might take; however, he was a great believer in consuming what he hunted. Having a lake on his property enabled him to fish as often as he desired. His home place was a source of pride and he kept the 19 acres trimmed and mowed; it has a series of wide walking trails through the woods and across the creeks. In the past year, his walks have been limited and he has watched the deer, rabbits, squirrels and birds from his living room window noting their antics unaware they were being observed.
His last week of life found him continuing to be concerned about the well being of his family even though he was physically exhausted from pain. His concern for them was always mentioned during table blessings as he prayed for their safety...he was always anxious about members who were far away. One of his final questions to his daughters addressed whether or not they would be okay. Truly, a legacy of commitment to doing his best and devotion to family are left for everyone who knew and respected him...praise be to GOD for all that was good and faithful in the life of W.C. “Bill” Murray...he is missed.
A service to celebrate his life as Witness to the Resurrection will be held on Saturday, June 21, at 2 p.m., at Central Presbyterian Church of Athens. Chaplain David Horton and the Rev. Doctor Robert Bohler will officiate. The family will greet guests at a reception in the gathering area immediately following the service.
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home of Athens is in charge of arrangements. Interment of remains will be held in a private service at Oconee Hills Cemetery in Athens.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Central Presbyterian Church.