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John Murray


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The Rosary for John R Murray, 75, of Portales was recited at 7:30 PM, Sun., Nov. 11, 2018 at St. Helen Catholic Church. The Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated at 2:00 PM, Mon., Nov. 12, 2018 at St. Helen Catholic Church by Fr. Charles Ugochuckwu. Pallbearers were John Gentry, Kaleb Gentry, John Combs, Buddy Blue, Steve Barron, Mike Terry, Dick Haverland and Tom Sullivan. All of the many young men he had coached through the years will be honorary pallbearers.

John Richard Murray was born March 1, 1943 in Roswell, New Mexico to the home of Florence Catherine (Wagner) and James Leroy Murray, and died at his home in Portales on the evening of November 8, 2018 at the age of 75 years, 8 months and 7 days.

John grew up in Roswell, and was a 1961 graduate of St. Peter’s High School where he was a star basketball player. He began his career in hospital administration as an admitting clerk at Eastern New Mexico Medical Center. He graduated from ENMU in 1974 with a degree in Business Administration. While attending college, he worked at Roosevelt General Hospital where he became the Assistant Administrator. He served in various capacities at St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe, Roosevelt General Hospital, Plains Regional Medical Center and LaCasa before becoming part of the original staff of the new Roosevelt General Hospital in 2000. John retired in 2010 to close out a 42 year long career in hospital administration.

On January 29, 1966 in Roswell, he was married to Mary Stoltz. John was a faithful and active member of the St. Helen Catholic Church. He loved coaching Little League sports, from T-Ball, to Baseball, and the Panthers City League Basketball team. One year, all five of the starting players on the Portales Rams basketball team were former members of the Panthers.

He collected vinyl records and knives, and enjoyed listening to music. John loved going to all of the second hand and consignment stores in the area, which he referred to as “his stores.” He also frequented garage sales, and could always find a “bargain.”

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He is survived by Mary, his wife of more than 52 years of their home; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Joshua and Mandy Murray of Freehold, NJ and Skye Murray of Perth Amboy, NJ; two daughters and a son-in-law, Elizabeth Reese of Portales and Karen and Daryl Lemieux of Annandale, VA; seven grandchildren, Gabriel Garcia, Mariah and Kaleigh Reese, Megan and Ashley Murray, and Madison and Meredith Lemieux; a great-granddaughter, Layla Wilmot and his mother-in-law, Mabel Stoltz of Portales. He was preceded in death by his parents, and two brothers, James and Joseph Murray.

Arrangements are under the direction of Wheeler Mortuary of Portales. 575-356-4455,wheelermortuary.net