• Date Of Birth: July 15, 1938
  • Date Of Death: October 4, 2021
  • Spouse: Beatrice McClung
  • Resting Place: Howell
  • City: Flint
  • State: Michigan

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend, Darrell Murray, passed away comfortably and peacefully, with family at his side, at Alaska Veterans and Pioneer Home in Palmer, Alaska, Monday, October 4th, 2021.

Darrell Lewis Murray was born July 15, 1938, at home, in Flint, Michigan, to Marvin and Dorothy (Lilje) Murray. His young mother named him after Darryl F. Zanuck, the famous movie producer, but chose to spell her son’s name differently. Darrell was raised between Flint and Detroit, attending 11 different schools between kindergarten and 10th grade, due to frequent moves. He was ultimately enrolled in Southfield High School, where, in the 9th grade, he met his future wife, Beatrice McClung. Darrell and Bea dated on and off through high school years, including after Darrell left school following 10th grade to join the United States Navy, where he earned his GED. In the Navy, Darrell was an Airdale, or Aircraft Mechanic, aboard aircraft carriers. During his years of active duty, Darrell cruised the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, including spending time in Cuba. He completed Boot Camp at Naval Station Great Lakes; special training at Naval Air Station Quonset Point in RI; and was stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA. Darrell also completed 3 years of inactive service upon returning home to Michigan, and joined the Naval Reserves, stationed out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base north of Detroit, in his 40s. Darrell was very proud of, and grateful for, his time and service in the Navy, and it changed the course of his life.

On November 1, 1958, Darrell married Bea. The newlyweds had to return very shortly after the wedding to Virginia Beach to finish Darrell’s active service, after which they returned to Michigan, living mainly in Detroit or surrounding areas, with a couple of years spent in Battle Creek, until they ultimately moved to Howell in 1972, and built a family home outside of town. They had three children, Mychele Denise, born 1960, Michael ScoBt, born 1962, and Marcie Ann, born 1971. Darrell had several different career paths throughout his adult life after his time in the Navy, initially working as a civilian aircraft mechanic at City Airport in Detroit; then as a debt collector, and later a branch manager, for General Finance; he became an Allstate agent for several years; and eventually became a car salesman in Livingston Country, working first for many years for a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury dealer, then transitioning to GM products for the rest of his career, until retirement in 2003. In an era and region when/where people were often extremely faithful to one automaker or the other, it was very telling about the level of his professional, honest, and fair salesmanship, that many of Darrell’s longtime Ford-products customers actually switched to GM products, just to follow him. Over his 25+ year career selling both new and used cars, Darrell won dozens of awards and honors. During all of his working life, he always provided a stable and comfortable home and lifestyle for his family, with many “toys” and trips. In his leisure time, Darrell enjoyed, and often included his family and friends in, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, playing pool and poker, bowling, dancing, enjoying music, and traveling; in particular, he and his family shared many good times and memories at various cabins and lakes “up North”, and down below, in Michigan. In the 2000s, he made several trips to Alaska to visit Marcie and her family, later moving there, and enjoyed many Alaska adventures. He often said he wished he had moved there as a younger man, and built an A-frame in the mountains.

Darrell and Bea remained in the family home until 2005 when they moved into a condo at the other end of Howell; when Bea became ill, Darrell was her devoted caregiver at home until she had to transition to a skilled nursing facility. Darrell remained there following the loss of Bea in 2012, after 53 years of marriage, until 2015, when he moved to Alaska to be closer to and assisted by, his daughter Marcie and her family. Darrell lived in his own apartment in downtown Anchorage for 2 years, then moved into the Alaska Veterans and Pioneer Home in Palmer, Alaska, where he spent the last 4 years of his life, receiving excellent care, love, and support from all the various types of staff, for which Darrell’s family wish to extend deep appreciation. Darrell was very content there, often getting to enjoy views out the windows of the spectacular Talkeetna Mountains. This, combined with the homey lodge-like look and feel of the home, gave him a little of what he wished he had done in younger years. He remained social as ever, making friends with many of the residents, enjoying many of the activities, especially anything pertaining to music, and he often played his harmonica for large group events, entertaining the other residents, staff, and visitors. He was beloved by staff, and many shared special words and memories about him with Marcie and Maria during his final week.

Darrell is preceded in death by his parents, his daughter, Mychele Denise Murray, his wife, Beatrice M. Murray, and his son-in-law, John Andrew “Drew” Koop, Jr. He is survived by his son, Michael S. Murray of Michigan, his daughter Marcie Murray Koop of Anchorage, Alaska, his sister Jill M. Bond of Piedmont, SC, his sister, Sue Osborne (Jerry) of Caro, MI, his granddaughter, Maria Mychele Koop of Anchorage, AK, his longtime and devoted friend, John J. Lueb of Hartland, MI, and several cousins, nieces, nephews, and in-laws.