WILLIAM SINGLER MURRAY
August 16, 1917 - February 13, 2017
Bill was born in Chicago, IL, raised in Elizabeth, NJ, and lived his adult life in Wilmington, DE. He was the last surviving child of James R. Murray and Sophie Singler Murray. He graduated from Xavier High School in New York City and received three degrees from Notre Dame University: a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering and both a Masters and Doctorate in Organic Chemistry. Bill was hired as a research chemist by the DuPont Company in 1942 and spent 37 years in various technical and management positions at Jackson Laboratory and Chambers Works, primarily in the fields of Freon and Tetraethyl Lead. He was granted five U.S. patents in the course of his career.
In 1950, Bill married Frances Ford, a fellow chemist. They had four children, and celebrated 61 years of married life before Fran’s death in 2011. Bill took an active role in the lives of his young children, introducing them to the wonders of nature and reading to them on a near-nightly basis. Summer vacations were meticulously planned, incorporating their developing interests and introducing the family to National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, geologic wonders, local attractions, museums, and historic sites. More "educational tour" than R&R, these expeditions exposed the family to nearly all the lower 48 states and introduced them to many far-flung, extended family members.
To friends and family, Bill was known for his wry wit, strong convictions, and many interests. He was a life-long appreciator of the arts, be it literature, visual art, music, or theatre, and was the de-facto interior designer, decorator and landscaper of the family home. The spring floral display in the backyard was worthy of any fine country estate. For several years following retirement, he and Fran enjoyed travel through much of Europe, North America, and Hawaii. He also gave of his time and talent, as a CCD teacher in the parish, as a volunteer in the children's waiting room at the Alfred I. du Pont Hospital for Children, and as a participant in numerous activities with the Knights of Columbus. Family was of great importance to him, and he compiled and shared genealogic accounts for both sides of his family, maintaining ties with many in his extended family, as well as with old neighbors, former colleagues and social associates.
Bill prided himself on doing for himself as much as possible, continuing to drive, shop, and cook, and keeping a hand in the house maintenance and yard work right up until his recent illness. He transitioned from this life on February 13, 2017, in the home that he cherished for the past 60 years. Surviving are his four children, Patricia (Pat) Murray, Wm. Robert (Bob) Murray, Thomas (Tom) Murray and wife Cathy Coyne, and Dr. Ruth Murray and husband Dr. Ijaz Khan; and two grandchildren, Liam Murray and Zarmina Marie Khan.
Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 AM at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, 7 Sharpley Rd., Wilmington, DE on Friday, February 17. Friends and family are invited to a visitation beginning at 10 AM at the Church. Burial will follow at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine Catholic Cemetery.