William "Bill" Murray, Jr.January 3, 2018
William J. “Bill” Murray died peacefully on January 3, 2018 in Wilmington, Delaware at the age of 93.
Bill is survived by his wife of 71 years, Betty (whom he affectionately called “Sally”); sons James (Margot), W. Gary (Sue) and Dean (Kim) and daughters Nancy Carney and Donna (Ken); thirteen grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his sisters Pauline and Kathleen.
Bill was born in the winter of 1924 in Maryland to William and Lottie Murray. He graduated from Wicomico High School in 1941. Following high school and before entering military service, Bill began working for Sun Oil Company. Bill proudly served his country in World War II as a member of the U.S. Army 409th Infantry Regiment’s K Company, seeing action in France, Germany and Austria. While still in uniform, he met Betty on a most successful blind date, and they were soon married in 1946. Bill returned to Sun Oil Company, where he rose to a management position and from which he retired after more than 42 years of service. In 1957, the couple moved from Pennsylvania to Naamans Gardens in North Wilmington into a home that Bill largely built with his own hands. They lived in that home for more than 60 years, raising their five children. Bill valued education highly and was proud that all five of his children graduated from the University of Delaware.
A generation of young baseball players knew Bill as “Coach Murray,” one of the original coaches of Naamans Little League and later of Nor Del Babe Ruth League. Bill was an accomplished carpenter and craftsman, who could fix anything and meticulously handled his family’s household projects. After he retired, Bill and Betty traveled America from Alaska to Florida in their Airstream trailer, making friends wherever they went. Somewhat to the surprise of his children, Bill took up square-dancing after he retired and, with Betty, joined the Pi-R-Squares dance club, where the couple made lifelong friends. Bill was an active and dedicated member of Chester Bethel Methodist Church, the V.F.W – Bethel Post and the Sapphire Club of Sun Oil Company retirees.
Bill was a man of quiet dignity, a gentleman with an uncompromising sense of honesty and personal responsibility. Above all, Bill was a family man, the patriarch of an ever growing family that included not only his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but also many nieces and nephews – all of whom looked upon Bill as a role model, guiding influence and steady supporter.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at Chester Bethel United Methodist Church on Foulk Road, Wilmington. Prior to the service, friends may call upon the family at 10:00 a.m. at the Church; a luncheon at the church’s adjoining Fellowship Hall will follow the service. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Bill's life.
In lieu of flowers, please send any donations in his memory to Chester Bethel United Methodist Church, 2619 Foulk Road, Wilmington DE 19810. The family would like to thank the caregivers at Arden Courts for their care, dedication and kindness to Bill during the last year of his life.