Obituary of Claude Murray, Jr.
Claude Edward Murray Jr. joined beloved family members and closest of friends in heaven on May 5, 2017. His death was of natural causes at age 92. He was surrounded by love from his family before and after his passing in his home of five years at the Osage Beach Health and Rehab Center. He always spoke well of the staff, saying they take good care of him, and he enjoyed his private room, decorated so comfortable he referred to it as his apartment. He enjoyed playing Bingo and other social activities. HIs most enjoyable moments were when he and Brenda would pick up Mason from daycare and go to Steak & Shake. Mason no doubt every time brought out the laughter in him. This little boy kept him going. He also loved visiting C & C Auto, initialed from Claude and Corey's Auto Sales. Corey has been the light of his life since birth. There would never be a conversation without him mentioning how proud he was of his grandson. Lake of the Ozarks easily became his home, having Brenda to take him for scenic drives, out to eat, going to Corey and Meyen's for every special occasion, and having the St. Louis family make trips to visit their dad and grandpa. He would have that huge smile on his face, twinkle in his eyes, and ready to socialize.
Claude was born in Arkansas, where his father was pastoring a church. Claude Edward Murray Sr. and MaryJane were parents to Aubrey, Verneal, Ira, Freida, Marizettia, Claude Jr., Bill, Jim, Bob, and Dick. Dick is the last of the family. Claude Sr. built a church in Van Buren, & organized many other churches. Claude Jr. followed his dad in pastoring one of the churches in E. Alton, IL, later a church in Fisk, around 1956, while both were teaching in Broseley. Brothers Jim and Dick also maintained a pastoral career. Jim was the president of Oakland City Indiana University, in which Claude faithfully would contribute a percentage of his income to. Dick is still pastoring in Poplar Bluff.
The Murray brothers and sisters were extremely close, and those brothers would tell stories they had them wiping their eyes from laughing so hard. Their magnetic personalities bounced off each other with wit and humor.
Claude grew up around Poplar Bluff, and when he was 17 joined the Navy, serving on the submarine USS Bonefish during WW II. After four runs out from Perth, Australia, he became ill and was not able to make the fifth run. The sub went out and was bombed by the Japanese in 1945. Claude would have died with the others.
Returning home after the war he met Marylee Melton. Driving a 1937 Ford, he would pick people up to go to Quilin to pick cotton. Marylee and her family lived there, resulting in their meeting. They married Jan. 10, 1946, and had three children, Mike, Brenda, and Linda. Mike passed away Feb. 8 of this year.
Claude had an exemplary career span. After earning his degree in Education and Administration, he went on to earn his Master's and a PHD. He was now Dr. Murray. He was a history teacher in Broseley, a junior high principle in Poplar Bluff, accepting the position as assistant principle in Florissant in 1964 led the family to Florissant. When Florissant Valley College was built he was the VA guidance counselor, years later had his own counseling practice for drug and alcohol addiction.
He was a 32nd Degree Mason & Marylee was a member of the Eastern Star.
He and Marylee toured the Holy Land in Israel with members of his family thru the First General Baptist Church in East Alton. Other tours were of the Middle East, Greece, & Turkey. When Corey was twelve his grandparents, along with relatives, traveled from San Francisco to Mexico, and back. Corey became a constant traveling companion.
Claude and Marylee were devoted grandparents. They couldn't miss Matt's first birthday, so they traveled to Arizona with Brenda and Corey. Ted and Meredith were always at Grandma and Grandpa's house, then a welcome surprise with adorable Scottie. Just when it seemed no more grandchildren, here comes Nicole and Tamara, less than a year apart, and they have been very much a part of their growing up. Holidays always at Grandma's house. Fond memories.
Before Marylee passed away, she was able to hold her great grandson, Mason Blake Murray, born Nov. 2012. Claude has had the great grandparent privilege to be an active part of Mason's life for over four years, and Brenda kept up with showing him pictures of Wyatt and Levi since their births. Every grandchild has their own special place in their hearts for their grandpa.
Dad showed compassion for others and shared the grace of Jesus. He was firmly grounded in God's word and helped people grow in faith. In all his years of education, he used his ministry and the love he had for the Lord provide encouragement and support to loved ones and strangers.
Tears are not for our father, we know that he's with God. Our tears are for the loss we feel that time will not erase.