Thomas Murray

Obituary of Thomas Francis Murray

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Thomas Francis Murray was born October 15, 1934 on the 16th birthday of his beloved sister, Dorothy, in Fort Worth, Texas. His parents, Francis Thomas Murray and Viola Bryant welcomed their second child, an unexpected blessing and a boy in which his dad could share his love of baseball. As a young man who wished to please his mother, he headed off to Texas A&M University where he stayed for two years as a member of the Corp of Cadets and a petroleum engineering student. He began to realize that his dreams and aspirations were different and transferred to the University of Texas at Austin to fulfill his passion to become a teacher and educator. While in Austin he began a relationship with the love of his life, Marsha, that started by sharing a ride back home to Fort Worth and they married while in college.

Upon graduating from UT in 1957, he and his wife went back to Fort Worth to begin their careers. His path led him to teach 6th grade at Glenview Elementary within Birdville ISD. Tom flourished at teaching and mentoring this age and he referred to them to the end of his days as “his kids”. He continued to care about his students and relished in attending their high school reunions. In addition to being their 6th grade teacher, he was also a coach of boys and girls in all sports. Some to this day, though, remember his paddle.

After ten short years with his 6th graders, the next years were as a counselor, vice principal, and an administrative role in developing curriculum to provide drug education to young students. Tom knew that adults would have little impact in providing this instruction and was instrumental in seeing that older high school students were the primary influence in the education program. Missing direct involvement in students’ daily lives, he became a principal at Watauga Junior High and enjoyed greeting his students with hugs and smiles. He was remembered as saying that he knew some came to school with heavy hearts and little love at home, so he wanted to be sure they were given smiles, praise, hugs, or a few teasing jokes to lighten their load. Tom’s career included other roles but none that he valued more than those in which he could directly influence a student’s daily life.

The personal side of life welcomed three of his very own kids, two sons in which he could share his love of sports and a daughter who he referred to as his little princess. As a dad he created an environment of learning, a love of sports (Go Rangers!), a strong work ethic, the comradery of hunting, and the love of being together, being outdoors, and camping. Everywhere we went, we did so as a family. This included working the baseball concession stands in Fort Worth – three generations deep, cousins, and both sides of the family…often at the same time. His sons would shag foul balls for a nickel and home run balls for a dime, while his daughter was propped on a stool counting the coins. He loved his wife completely and dearly to the full extent of his abilities and days. He provided for, and created a family, that loves each other and truly enjoys spending time together, his wife, Marsha; his children, Mark, Ken and Jodi; grandchildren, Tyler, Ryan, Caitlyn, Sarah, Harrison, and Mackenzie; and his two great grandchildren with one on the way.

Love and commitment to family and to his students is his legacy. 

Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.  "It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving."  Mother Teresa