Martin Murray, age 92, of Florence, Alabama passed peacefully from this earthly life to his heavenly home on Saturday, January 2, 2021. A devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, Mr. Murray was a man of rare character, known for his sly smile, wonderful stories and the purpose he found in helping others. He was a faithful member of North Wood United Methodist Church where he enjoyed singing harmony to old gospel favorites. He was a Mason of Florence Lodge No. 14 F. & A.M.
Martin Murray was the nineth child born to Robert Lindsey Murray and Monnie Stone Murray on October 5, 1928 in Monroe County, Mississippi. While attending Hamilton High School, he asked Mary Kathryn Collier to see “Madam Curie” at the movie theatre. His buddies bet him 10 cents she would refuse. Not only did he win the bet, he won the girl. Martin and Mary Kathryn were married in 1948 and celebrated their Platinum (70th) Wedding Anniversary before she died in 2019.
Mr. Murray enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Korean War before his honorable discharge as sergeant. When he returned, he worked at Reynolds Metal Company for two decades, and later, with Champion International Paper Company for 21 years. Upon his retirement, he was praised for his loyal and dedicated service. However, that was not the end of his daily work. Along with his wife, Mr. Murray created a life dedicated to the thoughtful provision of other people and the joyful stewardship of God’s creation. His was a blessed life that reflected Proverbs 3:27, "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act." Even in the last years of his life, Mr. Murray could be seen taking in the trashcans for his neighbors and feeding God’s songbirds near his backyard vegetable garden.
Mr. Murray is survived by his daughter, Mary Martin Murray Nordness (David) of Auburn, Alabama; his granddaughters, Kathryn Nordness Brown (Chris), Jennifer Nordness Kennedy (Joshua) Emily Nordness Dean (Justin) and Mollee Nordness Favre (Cody) and nine great-grandchildren whom he adored.
A private service will be held in Greenview Memorial Chapel from 1: 30 until 2:30 pm, Sunday, January 10th, followed by a public graveside service in Greenview Memorial Park. The family is grateful to the Murray’s housekeeper, Helen Reeves, Carrie Thompson with Eldercare and the loving staff of Encompass Health. In lieu of flowers, consider donating to North Wood United Methodist Church.
Martin Murray was the cornerstone of his family. He will be missed, not only by those who loved him, but by the many people he touched with his unique acts of kindness. He was a godly man who exemplified Romans 12: 9-13:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
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