Francis Earl Murray
Francis Earl Murray, 77, of Overland Park, Kansas (formerly of Chesterfield, Missouri), died Sunday, August 29, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri surrounded by family.
Earl was born in Florence, South Carolina on January 12, 1944 to Valeria McElveen Murray and Francis James Murray. At age one, he moved with his family to Rossford, Ohio. Earl expressed fond memories of his childhood with his younger brother and many cousins, especially swimming in the family pool. He graduated from Rossford High School in 1962.
Earl attended the University of Cincinnati (Go Bearcats!) and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Engineering in 1967. During his time at Cincinnati, he completed a co-op in South Bend, Indiana.
He met his wife, Judi, at a university mixer and the rest is history. They married in Louisville, Kentucky on June 8, 1968. Then onward to St. Louis where he began his career as an aerospace engineer at McDonnell Douglas. Earl also finished his master’s degree in Computer Science at University of Missouri-Rolla in 1984.
Prior to children, Earl found another love for aviation. He received his private pilot’s license in 1974 and enjoyed taking Judi on adventures to visit family in Ohio and the Carolinas.
In St. Louis, they raised their three children first in Webster Groves, eventually settling in Chesterfield, where they remained for 35 years. Earl and his family were members of Bonhomme Presbyterian Church throughout their time in Chesterfield.
Earl retired at age 70 from McDonnell Douglas/Boeing, marking a 47-year career. He loved to brag, “Everyday feels like Saturday.”
Earl was a master at “tinkering” and had a deep love for all things sports particularly following his Bearcats as well as the St. Louis Cardinals. Earl was a regular blood donor, enjoyed playing racquetball and bicycle rides around Creve Coeur Lake. He looked forward to weekly Sunday night dinners with neighbors who were his best friends. Earl loved to show off his Miata and was a regular at Gateway Miata Club meetings. He never missed an opportunity to ride with the top down.
Earl’s true joy was always witnessing the success of his children and the special arrival of each of his five grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents and stepmother, Corrine Frye Murray. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Judith Heath Murray of Overland Park, Kansas; brother, Richard (Naomi) Murray of Birmingham, Michigan; brother-in-law, Jack (Tonna) Heath of Nashville, Tennessee; daughter, Lauren (Brian) Bennett of Golden, Colorado; daughter, Renee (Zach) Hotz of Southlake, Texas; son, Paul (Kylie) Murray of Overland Park, Kansas; grandchildren, Thomas, Anna, Harriet, Marjorie, and Brooks; and aunt, Harriett McElveen of Lexington, South Carolina.
A memorial will be held in 2022 in Florence, South Carolina with close friends and family.
Memorials can be made to the following:
The Dachshund Rescue of St. Louis at playfull-paws.com or 1140 Tulip Lane, Highland, Illinois 62249
American Red Cross at redcross.org/donate/donation (“I want to support” option to “Blood Services”) or PO Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839