Joseph Donald Murray, 84, technician for C&P

October 18, 2002

Joseph Donald Murray, a retired technician with Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. of Maryland and avid golfer, died Sunday at University of Maryland Medical Center of complications from a stroke. The Pasadena resident was 84.

Mr. Murray played golf at least four times a week, and was particularly proud of a hole-in-one he shot on a blisteringly hot day -- July 9, 1990 -- at Piney Branch Golf and Country Club in Hampstead, where he was a longtime member.

A framed certificate on the wall of his home states that he hit the ball 168 yards on the ninth hole. That year, he realized his dream to shoot his age.

"He was on cloud nine that whole year," said his wife of 61 years, the former Edna Mae Parker.

Mr. Murray was born in Hampstead, and graduated from Hampstead High School before entering the Navy during World War II. He served in the Pacific as a radarman on the USS Rankin.

After the war, he went to work for the telephone company, and was assigned to the Pikesville test center where he installed and operated equipment and handled customer complaints.

He met his future wife at a company dance in her hometown of Roanoke, Va., where she worked as a telephone operator. Mrs. Murray rose through the ranks to become chief of employment for C&P offices throughout Maryland.

The Murrays moved to Treasure Island, Fla., 25 years ago, though they maintained a residence in Hampstead. Ten years ago, they returned to the Baltimore area, moving to Pasadena.

Mr. Murray was a 48-year member of the Lions Club of Hampstead, and was a member and charter president of North Carroll Democratic Club. He also belonged to Maryland Telephone Pioneers, American Legion Post 200 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2426.

Mr. Murray was a lifelong member and served for many years as chief usher at St. John's United Methodist Church in Hampstead, 1205 N. Main St., where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Judith Murray Sparks of Pasadena; his sister, Julia Miller of Towson; five brothers, John W. Murray of Annandale, Va., Walter F. Murray of Lake Oswego, Ore., Francis E. Murray of Woodstock, Dr. James G. Murray of Berlin and Richard S. Murray of Hampstead; two granddaughters; and two great-grandchildren.

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