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Obituary - W. Ralph Murray

W. Ralph Murray

Date of Passing: July 14th, 2009

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In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the First United Methodist Church of Waterville.

W. Ralph Murray, of Waterville, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 in Hershey, PA. Born in Media, PA on October 21, 1932, he was the son of the late J. Warrington and Elizabeth Boyd Murray. He was a graduate of the Museum School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, where he received his B.A. in art education and also took graduate studies at Syracuse University. He was a US Army veteran. For 31 years, Mr. Murray taught art in public schools, retiring to devote more time to his special interest in teaching watercolor painting at Clinton, Cooperstown, Hamilton and Utica. He especially enjoyed teaching his week-long workshops at Monhegan Island and Northport, ME. Mr. Murray was active in many art societies and served on many church committees. Ralph is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mary; his son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Lisa Murray; his daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and John La Porte; his beloved grandchildren, Jacob, Allyson and Nathan Murray, all of Waterville; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Phyllis Colvin of Elizabethtown, PA and Esther and Edward Culbertson of Gradyville, PA; a brother, Meredith Murray of East Waterford, PA; a sister-in-law, Edith Murray of Venice, FL; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his son, David Murray; and a brother, Leroy Murray. Family and friends are invited to attend Ralph's memorial service on Saturday, July 18 at 11 am at the First United Methodist Church of Waterville, with Pastor Genett Timlin officiating. Private interment will be in St. Bernard's Cemetery, Waterville. There are no public calling hours. Arrangements are with the Kloster-Northrop & Bentz Funeral Home, Waterville.


Mr Murry was my art teacher in my early years. He was a very patient gentle soul. My favorite teacher all time throughout my life is Mrs. Murray, my third grade teacher. I'm sorry to hear of his passing.
Chuck Chernoff

My husband and I send you and your family our condolences. We were sadden when we recently read that Ralph had passed away. We met Ralph many years ago when my mother also displayed art work at the Cooperstown Labor Day show. We loved his work and could not wait to see the new ones every year. We have been fortunate to have several of his paintings in our house. We really enjoyed our conversations with him and will truly miss him. Our thoughts are with you all.
Patrica Larbig Hazzard

I'd like to second Pam Larbig's sentiments. She's the one who originally introduced me to Ralph, and I, too, bought some of his paintings, which continue to bring me great pleasure. I'll truly miss chatting with him at the Labor Day show in Cooperstown, and want to express my deepest sympathy for your loss.
Debby Ballard

Mrs. Murray - The news of your husband's passing just reached me in Alexandria, VA. My sister and I had hoped to see him in Cooperstown over Labor Day art show. We shall miss him greatly and we shall truly treasure those paintings of his that we have acquired over the years. Our deepest condolences to you and your family. Pam Larbig
Pamela C. Larbig

I graduated in 1965 and would like to express my sincerely deepest condelences. I truly loved the man.
Lyn Ferrucci

Mrs. Murray - It was so kind of you to attend calling hours for my mother so soon after your own sad loss. My mother always spoke of both you and your husband with the highest regard and admiration. She delighted in his beautiful watercolor painting based on my grandparents' farm. My brother, sister and I treasure it as well. You are in our prayers.
Joanne Adams

Ralph was kind and funny and excellent teacher. I wanted to make him a pie for this up coming class. I will make one any way eat it and paint. Thankyou for all your honest and funny comments. Jeanine
Jeanine Stark

Mrs Murray and family, Sorry to learn of Ralph's passing. I took his watercolor class in cooperstown last fall. I told him I had no talent in art and couldnt draw a straight line but had a lifes goal of painting a picture, he smiled and said if you want to do it you can and I will help you. I accomplished my goal only through Ralph's kind, patient and gentle manner. Was looking forward to taking his class again, though I knew him only briefly I feel your loss and will miss him.
Hal Akers

I had Mr. Murray for art back in the early 60's!! And I still remember him and what a wonderful person he was. My condolences to the family.
Joanne Lees French

I was so sorry to hear of Ralph's death. He was a wonderful man. I treasure the watercolors we have of his.
Lynda Doring

My heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your cherished husband and father. Ralph was such a kind and gentle-man. It was a privilege to be in his class and to know him. Now, whenever I see a dramatic sky full of color, I shall remember Ralph. Thank you Ralph.
Gail Prokosch

My condolences to the Murray family. I was born the year after Ralph and spent a lot of time playing with him and Esther on 2nd street in Media where we were growing up.
Harry Thomas

I have lost a wonderful teacher, advisor, and friend. We must have laughed together a million times in class, yearbook and booster club meetings, Halloween window-painting contests, rare visits later in life--what wonderful memories. He touched so very many lives--my heart is breaking. Love and prayers to you.
Susan Lees Ryerson

Dear Mrs. Murray and family, Isam and I were deeply saddened with the sad news of Ralph's passing. We hope and pray that your happy memories of your many years together will serve as candles to help light your way through this dark time. With sad hearts, Kristen and Isam Sakati
Isam and Kristen Sakati

Mrs. Murray, Jennifer, Mike and family, My deepest sympathy goes out to you at this time of loss. May you find comfort and peace in the many memories you shared. God Bless.
Heidi Ach

It was truly sad to hear of Ralphs passing. My sincere condolences go out to his entire family. I was extremely fortunate to have met Ralph and to have two of his paintings to enjoy. I have not lived in the area for some time but in recent conversations with my sister I had inquired of Ralph. It was my intent to contact him about painting a barn from South Dakota that has been in my wife’s family for years but is now being torn down. Of course that will not happen now but I will never forget what a gracious man Ralph was.
Joe DeVecchio

Ralph Murray was the best art teacher and most gentle man I have had the privilege of knowing. I took many of his water color classes and his pen and ink drawing classes. He was so patient and kind. The best part of the class was when he would do his demonstrations and we would gather around his front table and watch this wonderful artist create a masterpiece before our eyes. He was sweet, humble, and a lovely man who truly loved a cherished his family. Anyone could tell this by the family stories he would share with us during class. He will surely be missed by everyone who had the great privilege to know him.
Susan Milograno Brown

My fondest memory of "Mr. Murray", outside of the classroom, where he could teach art to a 'stone', was of Halloween Eves when he would have his home decorated magnificently for all to enjoy. I live in Maine and missed his painting class on Monhegan. I loved to have worked with him one more time...He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. My sincere condolences to his family who will miss him most of all...
Nancy Stettner Victor

It would take to many words to describe Ralph and do him justice. Thank you Ralph for all of your patience and help in teaching me how to paint. My teachers from now on will have big shoes to fill. You will be missed.
Suzanne Bauer

"Mr. Murray" was the first art teacher I ever remember in elementary school in Waterville, I'm sure one of his first classes. He was definitely my favorite, especially when we spent hours in his classroom putting together the Academic Union our senior year. What a warm, welcoming, kind man. My sympathy to his wonderful wife and family. He will be missed terribly.
Paula Burback

What a wonderful art teacher Ralph was but also what an exceptional man he was. Always the gentleman and always the gentle approach to his teaching as well. Positive comments and encouragement were his approach to teaching. I am a better painter and person because of my time spent in Ralph's classes. His memory and paintings will live on forever.
Marie Duink

I was privileged to take many watercolor painting classes from Ralph. He was always the most kind and gentle man with advice and help. It is sad knowing that he isn't with us anymore. My sincere condolences to his family.
Erica Tollerton

Mrs. Murray, Jenn, Mike & family - I am so sorry for your loss. You are all in my thoughts & prayers during this most difficult of times.
Tracey (Brooks) Viereck

Ralph was truly a gentleman in everyway.I will always cherish my time spent learning from him.He will be missed by many.
Flo Campbell

Respectful student of pen and ink and watercolor at Cooperstown Art Association. His knees would pain him but he made it up those stairs for each class!
May-Britt Joyce

Jennie, I'm so sorry for your loss. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Denise (Philipson) Schriever

Dear Mary and family, Thank you for sharing Ralph with all of us, his students, for so many years. The following poem seems so appropriate. L'Envoi to the Seven Seas by Rudyard Kipling: When Earth's last picture is painted, and the tubes are twisted and dried, When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died, We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it--lie down for an ćon or two, Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall set us to work anew! And those who were good shall be happy: they shall sit in a golden chair; They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comet's hair; They shall find real saints to draw from--Magdalene, Peter, and Paul; They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all! And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master shall blame; And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame; But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star, Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are!
Joan L. Tell

I am not sure there is a more gracious and kind man. And such professional when it came to teaching and his artistry. His paintings speak for themselves. I consider myself fortunate to have a half dozen to cherish. One of my goals for retirement was to take more classes with Ralph. I loved a comment he made to me during a summer class with the KAC: "The reason you paint small is that your mistakes are smaller when you paint small." Blunt, but I never forgot it! Ralph will be missed by so many people for so many good reasons. Deepest condolences to Mary, Mike, Jennifer and family
connie bocko

tom murphy

I'm so very sorry to hear about Mr. Murray. He was my elementary art teacher back in the 70's...and my favorite teacher. In recent years, I enjoyed going to his house during his art sales. I was always greeted with a warm smile and left with a hug. Not only was Mr. Murray a wonderful artist, he was a wonderful person as well. My heartfelt condolences to the family. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this very sad time.
Jane Flanagan