Thomas Patrick Murray, Sr., age 79, was loved and cherished by all those fortunate to know him. He was a sincere and gentle soul who devoted his entire life to his beloved bride, Gerrie, and treasured children and grandchildren. Tom died Friday evening November 2, 2018, All Souls Day, at home surrounded by love and prayers of his family and friends from all over the world. Tom was a native of Lorain, OH, born the fifth child of eight to Peter and Beatrice (Coyne) Murray on March 6, 1939. Tom and Gerrie were married December 27, 1962, at St. Columba Church, Johnstown, PA. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Mary Conrad; brothers, John Murray and Jim and Mary Murray; and in-laws, John (Jack) and Helen (Kennedy) Kiniry. He is survived by his loving wife, Gerrieann (Kiniry); children, Colleen and Tom Boland, Thomas Jr. and Diane Murray, Tricia and Brian Donovan, and Erin and David Chekal; grandchildren, Lt. Kate and Sam Boland, Thomas III and Harry Murray, Patrick, John, Meghan and Molly Donovan, Peter, Danny, and Jack and Beatrice Chekal; his brothers and spouses, Peter and Evelyn Murray, Fr. Cornelius Murray, Mike and Mimi Murray, Dan and Mary Beth Murray; his sister-in-law, Jane Murray; brothers-in-law, Charles Conrad and Patrick and Susan Kiniry; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. Tom was a 1957 graduate of St. Mary’s High School, Lorain, OH, and a 1961 graduate of Benedictine University, formerly known as St. Procopius College, Lisle, IL. He served our nation, retiring as a Navy Captain in 1989 after five years of active duty and 23 years in the reserves. His greatest honor in the Navy was being recalled to active duty to debrief the Vietnam POWs and welcome home Commander Dave Wheat. He enjoyed a long career at General Motors in Education and Training and retired in 1992. His favorite retirement jobs included being Santa Claus at Woodland Mall for 18 years and in many homes for family parties. He treasured his nine years driving the Forest Hills School Bus and loved driving his grandchildren and all their friends to and from school. Tom was a member of St. Robert of Newminster Parish for over 40 years where he was a lector, usher and bereavement minister. He and Gerrie were on the Pre Cana team for many years. He was often found at one of his kids or grandkids activities or sporting events. His family was his true wealth: he was rich beyond measure. He loved family gatherings for any and all occasions and welcomed friends with the same warmth and fondness he showed his family. Many remember spending Christmas Eve at the Murray open house. He was a man who held his Irish heritage dear. But it is his dedication to family for which he will be remembered most. A loving, fearless leader of the Murray clan, he commanded the utmost respect from his kids and made parenting look easy. His family is blessed to have had such a strong and amazing man for a husband, father and Pop – one whose joy for life made every encounter meaningful and unforgettable. His quick wit, and clever sayings will be remembered by so many… “Be good to yourself, because you’re important.” Tom’s family would like to thank all the staff at Spectrum Hospital, Spectrum Health Nursing and Rehabilitation and Emmanuel Hospice. The Murray family will welcome friends at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel on Tuesday, November 6 from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM with a Rosary at 7 PM. A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Wednesday, November 7 at 4:30 PM with visitation from 3-4:30 PM at St. Robert of Newminster Parish, 6477 Ada Dr SE, Ada, MI 49301. Rev. Colin Mulhall celebrant. Interment at Cascade Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Tom’s name to the Franciscan Life Process Center Kitchen Fund, 11650 Downes St NE, Lowell, MI 49331.
He was Pop to all our kids in the neighborhood. Always a smile, a joke and a wink. His joy was contagious. We are grateful to have known him. We are so sorry for your loss. Sending lots of love and big hugs to you all. Love, the Kastner Family
It’s “Fair winds and following seas,” Captain Tom, as you pass the sunset, and see more of what we all have been promised. You were the best of brothers. You and Gerrie’s example and advice, as Mimi and I started our own married life made our lives easier. We are grateful to both of you. God speed, Tom…
Dear Gerrie & Family,
Our hearts are heavy for you but not for Tom. As his friends for nearly 50 yrs, we know you now have a wonderful advocate in heaven! The love he shared with all who knew him guarantees him a boisterous welcome–probably emceed by St. Peter himself! And, possibly, a pig roast!
Tom’s kind of love never dies, it only lives on in all of you. May you be comforted by all the happy memories until you meet again.
With Love & Prayers,
Sue & Rick Sartor
So sorry to lose such a great man. But what a legacy he has made! One can only hope to make such a difference in the world. Peace and solace to the Murray clan.
Thoughts and prayers for the entire Murray family. Tom Murray was a kind and gentle man. He has a beautiful family that he clearly loved dearly.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall fast upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
What a wonderful man. So sorry to hear of you loss, but he will be part of your lives forever.
With love & prayers
Lynn & Gary Stefan
Tom will be missed by all his shipmates from the many years of his service to our country. May he now rest peacefully in the arms of Christ.
Oh my! How I treasure the many memories I have of Tom and the entire Murray clan, over 40 years of them, starting in Royal Oak, MI. His Irishness was contagious, his sense of humor delightful, his love of his family something to be admired and enjoyed. I’m sure his loss will be felt deeply, but the stories have already begun and will be repeated and chuckled over again and again. Rest In Peace dear friend and please tell Maury hello.
We are so sorry to hear of Mr. Murray’s passing. He was such a kind man. We pray you all find comfort knowing he is in the arms of Jesus. A wonderful family man and inspiration to all that knew him.
Tom, Tanya and Taylor Molotky
We adore him (and Gerrie), as they were a constant at all Rangerball games and always there to support our boys and so many others. Big hugs and love to your whole family and our deepest sympathies. Love, Meg and Ken George
Our thoughts and condolences to the entire Murray family. Love, Brian and Cindy Daugherty
We are so very sorry to hear about Tom’s passing. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family at this sorrowful time. We will keep y’all in our thoughts and prayers. Tom will be missed by all who knew him.
Laura Thill Murray Family
CAPT Tom will remain in our hearts and souls forever though cherished memories. One of my favorite memories was when I took a “situation” to him as my Commanding Officer. He said, “I understand. And what is your proposed solution?” What a tremendous lesson and one I put to use often throughout my Navy and Teaching career. He was a supreme leader and very dear friend. Fair winds and following seas!
CAPT Anna Mae Clark
My love and prayers are with you at this time of sadness. Such a beautiful tribute for a truly great man. Tom was, indeed, a well-loved and respected man. I can picture him as Santa and what a perfect Old St Nick he would be with his charming smile and twinkle in his eye. Tom, Bernie, and Bob are certainly trading Navy stories and having quite the time reminiscing. Hugs to the entire Murray clan.