William F. Murray was born in October of 1919 in Hagerstown, Indiana, to Marion and Hazel Murray, the eldest child of four. He died on Dec. 3, 2018, at the VA hospital at Loma Linda.
Alongside his school years, he worked as a shoe shiner in a barber shop and as a caddy, had a bicycle shop and earned his Eagle Scout award.
He graduated from Hagerstown High School in 1937.
He attended Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, majoring in business administration. He worked at the Perfect Circle Piston Ring Company in Hagerstown.
He was drafted in the Army in 1941, becoming a med tech/surgical assistant.
In 1943, he married his first wife, Anita, then later that year, deployed to England and Ireland. He served in France and Germany (the European Theater) in Patton’s 3rd Army, before returning to Indiana in September of 1945, to his wife and first-born daughter; a second daughter was born in 1947.
The family moved to Houston in 1949, and he worked as a traveling salesman; then he headed to California in 1951, working as a vacuum cleaner salesman. He was eventually employed at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft.
He remarried in 1954 to his second wife, Gladys. Thereafter, they built their first cabin on Yucca Mesa. Their son was born in 1956 and a daughter in 1958, and a second cabin on Yucca Mesa was built. Around 1960, they moved from Redondo Beach to Yucca Mesa.
In 1962, he became Yucca Valley’s only postal carrier at the time.
They then focused onto expanding the cabin into a house and had two more sons — one in 1963, one in 1966.
In the mid-1970s, he helped out with his wife’s trophy and rock shop, later building another house, this time in Yucca Valley.
During these years, he was the first president of the Yucca Mesa Improvement Association, was union steward for a time while working at the post office, belonged to the Yucca Valley Gem and Mineral Society, where he served as president, and enjoyed traveling. There were a lot of driving trips as far east as Boston and as far south as Miami and the Keys, visiting many national parks. As for north, as far as Alaska; that trip was seven weeks at the age of 72.
In the early to mid-1990s, there was the new adventure of building another house, this time in Montana with traveling back and forth.
In his later years, he enjoyed watching basketball on TV.
He was a loving father who will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his second wife, Gladys, his first wife, Anita, his sister, Betty Miller, and his brother, Herschel Murray.
He is survived by his children, Janet (Skip) Kressley, of Houston area, Texas, Lynne Kitchens, of Humble, Texas, Tim (Linda) Murray, of Reno, Nevada, Caroline (Jeff) Mazur, of Streamwood, Illinois, and Jonathan Murray and Eric Murray, both of Yucca Valley.
He is also survived by eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
A viewing was held Dec. 6 at Wiefels. Details can be found at wiefels.com.
A graveside service with honor guard will be held at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at Joshua Tree Memorial Park.
The date for a celebration of life is still to be determined.