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Barbara Jean Murray

Died: Tue., Sep. 8, 2020

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Barbara Jean Murray, the foundation of our family, passed away on September 8, 2020, at River Run Place Senior Living in Eugene, Oregon.   She was 95 years young, She was born April 23, 1925, to Allen and Daisy Wicks in Portland, Oregon.  Her only sibling, Norman Wicks, and she grew up in Union, Oregon.  Barbara graduated high school in May 1943.   Several months later she married the love of her life, Otis K. Murray August 15, 1943. They had four children during the years of the marriage--Michael, firstborn, seven years later, Genevieve, eight years later, Kevin and four later, Kenny.  She often joked her children were spaced so far apart to avoid getting a job once a child started school.  Her calling was to be a wife, mother, and homemaker-a role in which she excelled.  The family was always the joy and the purpose of her life.


Shortly after their marriage, Otis joined the war effort.  Barbara held down the home front in Union. After the war, Otis gained his degree in education and his Master in Education/Administration from the University of Oregon.  Throughout the years, his teaching and administrative jobs led the family to many small towns throughout the state--Haines, Hereford, Halfway, Ontario, and finally in1971, Bandon. 


Barbara loved Bandon and she and Otis knew it was a place they wanted to stay, raise their family, and grow old together.  Sadly that did not happen.  Otis died of a heart attack in 1975, leaving her to raise the two youngest sons alone.  What did Barbara do? Things all strong and loving people do.  Anything and everything needed to make sure her family was cared for and secure.  She, who had never really had a job outside the home, went to work at Bandon High School as a Library Assistant.  She so enjoyed interacting with the students during the years she worked. 


For the next 40 years, her home was the base camp for countless gatherings of friends and family.  We should have posted a neon sign in front of the house that flashed, "ALL ARE WELCOME".  She had a competitive spirit and loved to play games--cards, board games, dominoes, cribbage, left, right, center. You name it, she'd played itBut she always liked it best when she won.  A week before her death she played Bingo and bemoaned the fact that she "only won once."  She loved sports and attended her children's and grandchildren's games and events faithfully.  We calculated this: the number of years between the year her oldest son started school and the year her youngest grandchild graduated came to 58. 58 consecutive years of attendance and support. Her enjoyment of sports remained constant. Even after the last Murray graduated she continued attending games. She was a familiar figure in the stands, cheering loudly and shouting her vocal evaluation of the referees. For her longtime loyalty and support, she was presented with a lifelong Bandon High School Student Body Card.  She was 84. 


At age 72, she began quilting and enjoyed planning quilts (especially for new babies), making quilts, going to quilt shops, and the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. She liked to give away her quilts as birthday, shower, or wedding gifts. Perhaps some of you reading this have one. She liked to "go out" and was always ready for breakfast, lunch or, dinner at a restaurant.  She sometimes mentioned not many cooked as "good as Otis".


Barbara remained active and independent until the last few months of her life.  Her passing was peaceful.  We are sad but grateful for the time we had her in our lives. She will be missed but never forgotten.  She will live on in her children, Michael Murray, Genevieve (Murray) Chrismon, Kevin Murray, and Kenneth Murray, her grandchildren, Chad Murray, Brad Murray, Jon Bowman, Keith Murray, Mark Murray and, Spencer Murray, and her great-grandchildren, Natalie, Reed, Sabastian, Madeline, and Easton Murray.


In respect to current Covid-19 restrictions, the family plans a private service Saturday, September 19, 2020, at Amling/Schroeder Funeral Chapel.


We invite her friends in the community to join her family between Noon and 1:00 on Saturday 19, 2020, where we will gather outside the Otis K. Murray Gymnasium entrance to accepting cards and/or donations to the Bandon Booster Club. Thank you to Bandon School District for allowing this opportunity to honor our Mother.

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John Richards
   Posted Mon September 21, 2020
Amazing woman, my heart goes out to the Murray family.
Sincere condolences.

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