In Memoriam

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Mary Jean Nelson Murray ’42

A picture of Mary Nelson Murray

Mary Jean Nelson Murray ’42, March 24, 2012, in Portland. Mary was raised by her mother, grandmother, and aunt, as the only child in a Scottish household with plenty of tea and baked goods. Her father was a Canadian wheat farmer. Mary earned a BA in psychology from Reed. During World War II, she joined the navy as an officer in the personnel department at Port Hueneme, California. There she met Harold (Max) Murray, who was also doing military service. They married in Portland in 1946 and moved to Eugene so that Max could complete his education at the University of Oregon. Three children were born before they returned to Portland, and a set of twins followed.Mary kept busy with family, household responsibilities, and work as a partner in an employment office. Mary and Max were deacons in the Presbyterian church and enjoyed cultivating roses, square dancing, and taking walks with their dogs. The couple was “virtually inseparable”—giving space to one another to enjoy personal pleasures like classical music (Mary) and sports (Max)—until Max’s death in 2011. Survivors include their daughter and four sons, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2012

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