Thomas Bernard Murray passed away peacefully in Spokane, Washington on July 25, 2020. He was born August 31, 1933 in Skagway Alaska, the third of four boys of William H. and Lillian M. (Peterson) Murray.
The family moved from Skagway to Kodiak, Alaska in 1941, to Anchorage in 1942 and then to Seattle in 1943.
Thom attended Holy Family Elementary School and graduated from Highline High School in Burien, Washington in 1951, then went on for a brief period of study at Seattle University.
He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1953 and was assigned to an air base in England. He returned home in 1957 to attend his father’s funeral but his returning military ﬂight to England crashed shortly after takeoff from Fort Dix, New Jersey, and he was seriously injured.
He spent the remainder of his enlistment in the hospital recovering from his injuries and struggling against an onset of osteomyelitis. His injuries left him with a permanently damaged right foot and lower leg which caused him diffculty throughout the rest of his life.
Following discharge from the Air Force, Thom secured a drafting position with The Boeing Company in Seattle, eventually moving into a quality assurance position. He married Michealle O’Brian in 1964 and they enjoyed a long, happy marriage in Burien until her passing in 2002.
During his later years at Boeing, and after his retirement, Thom and Michealle enjoyed raising purebred bulldogs and traveling the country to participate in dog shows. About two years after Michealle’s passing, Thom went to Colville, Washington to visit Willy O’Brian (also called Lanny) – Michealle’s oldest son from a previous marriage – and Willy’s wife Cindy. Thom loved the area and surrounding countryside and decided to buy property and build a home there, using a design he and Michealle had previously created. He lived very happily in Colville among his dear neighbors and their families who had befriended him.
His favorite pastime while living in Colville, aside from weekly crocheting sessions with friends, was ocean cruises. Thom managed to get himself on a ship at least twice a year and he travelled to various parts of the world in the company of his close friend, Dave Vannet. He also spent many happy hours playing cards, chatting and enjoying holidays with his dearest friends, the Schrader family, in Colville.
Thom is survived by his brothers, Carl Murray, Dick Murray and his wife Judy Harrison Murray; his sister, Mary Murray Shelton and her wife, Amanda Kreglow; many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and their families, and his neighbors-like-family, Mary Ann and Larry Schrader, their children and grandchildren, as well as many, many friends he made over the years who all thought of him as family. His sons, William (Willy) O’Brian and Michael “Doc” Murray, and another brother, William Lawrence Murray, predeceased him.
A memorial service for Thom will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Colville on a date to be determined. His ashes will be interred next to Michealle’s following a private family ceremony at Mt. Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA. Donations in his memory may be sent to Hospice House of Spokane, Washington.