Ronald C. McMurry

Ronald C. McMurry

Madison, WI – Ronald Carl McMurry, 85, died Tuesday, October 16, 2012, at Attic Angels Care Center.

Born October 1, 1927, in Butler, PA, to Carl and Helen (Snyder) McMurry, he attended the Butler public schools, graduating in 1945. Awaiting the draft, he attended Capital University, Columbus, OH and then enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force Replacement Program. He served 1 1/2 years in communications for the 13th Air Force at Clark Field, Philippines. Upon discharge he attended Purdue University, graduating in 1951 with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

The next year he married his college sweetheart, Shirley Young, and they moved to Menasha, WI where they became the parents of three children and took an active part in the community. Shirley died in 1982. Very important in Ron’s life was the close circle of friends which developed in Neenah and continued on to their most recent joyful reunion on the east coast in 2012. The summer home on Nantucket Island which this group collaborated in buying and maintaining was a pleasure for the whole family.

Ron’s career began in Neenah/Menasha, WI, where he joined the Marathon Corporation training program as a process engineer. When Marathon merged with American Can Co., Ron moved from development to Manufacturing Management, working in Menasha, WI, Wausau, WI, and Scranton, PA, culminating in a move to the Greenwich, CT home office. After early retirement in 1984, Ron began to serve The Lutheran Church in America as a Stewardship Consultant. He traveled the US for eleven years while the church merged into the ELCA. He directed appeals in 72 congregations and two synods (Central PA and New England). After retirement, he also served the East Central Synod of Wisconsin.

Ron enjoyed all music and sports his entire life. He played clarinet in Big Bands through high school and college and was especially proud of his two years in Purdue’s All America Marching Band. At Purdue he became a member of Beta Theta Pi, which he enthusiastically supported all his life.

Ron sang in church choirs for more than 65 years, most recently at Good Shepherd ELCA in Madison. He was active in local church activities wherever he lived. Other community service included Kiwanis, with leadership roles in Neenah/Menasha, Wausau, Northern Door and West Madison. As an avid football fan he cheered for Purdue and the Green Bay Packers, with a secret cheer for the Steelers. The highlight of his last year of life was his trip to Washington, DC with the Badger Honor Flight.

In 1988, Ron was married to Betty Nicholas Bowers. They lived for ten years in Wausau, then for ten years in Tucson, moving to Madison in 2006. Their 25 summers together were spent in Ephraim, Door County, WI where they enjoyed the pioneer farm owned by the Bowers family and where they were members of Bethany Lutheran Church, with Ron serving as its treasurer. These were years of great fun with the seven grandchildren–playing cards every night around the old farm table, picking apples in the orchard and tossing rocks at Pebble Beach.

Ron’s strong faith was an inspiration to everyone, and he was loved by all for his kindness, gentle humor, and loyal friendship.

Ronald C. McMurry is survived by his three children: Carolyn Montano (Steve Dagley), Paxton, MA; Scott McMurry, Rhinebeck, NY; and Kathryn McMurry (Doug Wright), Alexandria, VA. He is also survived by his second wife, Betty, and four step-children: Michael Bowers (Vicky),Rapid City, SD; Elizabeth Aarsvold (Peter),Verona, WI; John Bowers, Verona, WI; and Dr. Susan Bowers, Sycamore, IL.

He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Hannah Aarsvold, Orscholz, Germany; Kirsten Aarsvold, Mansfield, MA; 2nd Lt. Patrick Bowers of Colorado Springs, CO; Matthew Bowers, Gunnison, CO; Eliza Bowers-Chen, Sycamore, IL; Jackson Bowers, Skelleftea, Sweden; and Sophia Bowers, Skelleftea, Sweden.

Additionally, he is survived by his sister Sandra (Robert) Nolte, New Harmony, PA and many in-laws, nieces and nephews, as well as a large clan of Betty’s relatives who–because of his cribbage playing skill–had adopted him as their own.

He was predeceased by his parents, by his first wife Shirley, by his brother Ed McMurry, by his sister Marilyn McMurry Custred.

Services will be held Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 11:00 am, with visitation at the church beginning at 10:00 am. There will be a family service of burial in Neenah, where Shirley Young McMurry is buried. Memorial gifts may be directed to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, to the Attic Angel Development Fund, or to the Badger Honor Flight organization in Madison.

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