Obituary: Arthur Ellridge Murray 1927-2016

Arthur Ellridge Murray

Arthur Ellridge Murray

Arthur "Art" Ellridge Murray went home to the loving arms of God in Clarkdale, Arizona on July 26, 2016. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 21, 1927 to Charles McBean Murray (the 13th Charlie Murray in his line) and Bernice Buell Hourné.

He married Mary Cecile "May Cile" Kreppein on September 5, 1946. After 69 years of marriage, she preceded him in death on February 23, 2016. Both of his parents also preceded him in death along with his brother Wilton who died in WWII in North Africa.

Art grew up in New Orleans until he was 10, when his family moved to the far West Texas town of Sanderson where his father worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad. He graduated from Sanderson High School in 1943 at the age of 16.

In 1944 - 1946, Art served in the US Navy as a sonar operator on the USS Parchee SS384. His crew was part of the Bikini Island atomic bomb testing, Operation Crossroads. He was redrafted into the Navy for the Korean Conflict for eight months in 1951 because his skills were needed as a radio operator on the USS Sperry.

Upon leaving the Navy in 1946, Art returned to New Orleans and married his childhood friend, Mary Cecile, in the priest's residence of Sacred Hart Church on Canal St. Art and Cile successfully raised four children in Texas before moving to Arizona in 2012 to live beside their youngest daughter, Lynn and her husband Robert Duke of Clarkdale. Their other children are Ken and wife Carla of Abilene, TX; Karen and husband Kenneth of Fredericksburg, TX; and Daena of Austin, TX.

Art secured his first job at 16 as a callboy for the Southern Pacific Railroad when steam engines were still in use. A call boy would knock on doors of the train crews to tell them that it was time to get the train up and running. This was before home telephones in the West Texas town of Sanderson. His railroad career continued on to span 42 years. He was first promoted to a telegrapher using a telegraph key and Morse Code, then later using teletype to send messages to various railroad stations. In 1952, he was studied hard and was promoted to the role of dispatcher for the railroad. In those days, being a dispatcher was considered "King of the Road" as he and his team controlled 838 miles of mainline track from their Houston Computer Controlled System (CTC).

Art is best known for his intelligence, ready wit, attention to detail, and pride in getting a job done well. He passed on all of these traits to his hard working, successful children. Dinners at the Murray house showcased Art's sense of humor and were filled with laughter as Art used his love of words to enliven the gathering. He also shared his love of the outdoors and water sports with his beloved family. He had some of his best times floating the Frio River in Garner State Park with his family and their dog, Rex, in tow.

Always a faithful Christian, Art was a member of the Lutheran faith. The family is very grateful for the time Pastor Paul Rutschow, of Peace Lutheran Church, provided in prayer and visits to offer Art and his family God's blessing and guidance. We also are eternally indebted to all the caregivers who so lovingly gave of their time and service to Dad at Haven Health, Cottonwood. You are all angels.

In addition to his four children, Art also loved seven grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. Grandchildren and great grandchildren include Ken's daughter Monica May and husband Ronnie of Fort Collins, Colorado who have Michael and Lauren; Karen's daughters Christy Quintana (deceased), Julie Enders of Austin, Texas, and Sharon Schmidt and husband Byron of Edmond Oklahoma who have Delaney, Landon, and Blakely; Daena's children Jeny Bradley and husband Clint of Austin, Texas who have Parker and Ryder; Ryan Rydell and wife Stephanie of San Diego, California who have Koen; and Lynn's daughter Laura Champion and husband Russell Lyons of Chandler, Arizona who have Reyna and Gavin.

A memorial service will be held at Haven Health, Cottonwood on Saturday, July 30 at 2 pm. Private internment of the cremains will take place at a later date at the Ft. Sam Houston VA cemetery in San Antonio, TX. Memorial contributions can be made to Peace Lutheran Church at 1450 E Fir St, Cottonwood, AZ 86326, or the charity of one's choice.

An online guestbook is available to sign at www.westcottfuneralhome.com. Information provided by survivors.

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