Bruce Murray


(Oct. 25, 2006)

Funeral services for Bruce Murray, 93, who died at the Powell Valley Healthcare, Wednesday, Oct. 25, will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1 at the Union Presbyterian Church in Powell.

Viewing at Thompson Funeral Home will be one hour prior to services.

He was born Jan. 2, 1913, in Ludlow, Mo, to Earl and Tula Murray. Tula suffered from asthma and was told to move to a dry climate. This brought them to Powell when Bruce was a baby. They brought their livestock, farm equipment and household belongings in an immigrant rail car, arriving in Powell on Dec. 5, 1914.

They first homesteaded on the Cemetery Road east of Powell. During this time, a brother, Max, and a sister, Merne, were born.

Bruce graduated from Powell High School in the class of 1931 as salutatorian and was voted outstanding athlete in his class. He was the first Balfour Award recipient at PHS, the first American Farmer from Powell and the second in the State of Wyoming. He received the boy's Honor Scholarship and a $500 scholarship to the University of Wyoming for being the high point livestock judge at the Kansas City National FFA judging contest. He worked odd jobs while attending college and was a member of Alpha Zeta Honorary. He graduated with a B.S. degree in Animal Production in 1935.

After losing the farm east of Powell during the Depression, the senior Murrays started over on the East Willwood in 1931 on a one half-school section. Bruce homesteaded on an adjoining farm by the Shoshone River in 1934. The name “Mere” was added to the end of the Murray name, which is a Scottish tradition meaning green pastures.

In 1940, Bruce met and fell in love with Darla Millspaugh, a school teacher from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, who had come to Powell to teach the fifth grade. Bruce and Darla were married Aug. 7, 1941 in her family home in Iowa. To this union were born a son, Keith Davis, and daughter, Linda Verlee. Bruce and Darla had just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in August.

Bruce was born to farm. His greatest pleasure was watching plants and animals grow. He took pride in saying that "our cattle are in our possession from conception to consumption." In later years, Bruce enjoyed collecting antique farm equipment. One of his great memories is going to Israel, climbing Mt. Sinai and Masada.

Bruce was the son of a homesteader and a homesteader himself. He always took great pride in being a good farmer and said, “I am proud to have spent my lifetime producing food for my fellow man. Change and challenge have been the hallmark of my life. The Future Farmers of America creed best expresses my philosophy. I believe in the future of farming with a faith born not of words, but of deeds."

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Max; and sister, Merne.

Survivors include his wife, Darla; two children, Keith (Rita) Murray and Linda Murray of Powell; four grandchildren: Bryon (Veesha) Murray and Valerie (Jeremy) Walton of Powell, Kenton (Sherri) Murray of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Tiffany (Allan) Darwich of Portland, Ore.; and 12 great grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Bruce Murray Women’s Athletic Scholarship or the Bruce and Darla Murray String Music Scholarship at Northwest College Foundation, 231 West 6th Street, Powell, WY 82435.