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Greenlawn Funeral Homes • Cremations • Cemeteries - Northeast
3700 River Blvd.
Bakersfield, CA 93305
(661) 324-9701

Stella McMurtrey


1918 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery Flowers
Stella McMurtrey Obituary
Stella McMurtrey returned to Heaven on the morning of December 25, 2016. She joined her husband of 78 years, who preceded her in death by only sixteen days. Most of us suspect that she refused to miss the Christmas party in Heaven.
Stella was born on September 26, 1918, in Hibbing, Minnesota. When she was two years old, her Italian-immigrant parents relocated to Bakersfield, and our community had the wonderful fortune to adopt this generous and civic-minded little person. In 1938, she married the love of her life, Mac McMurtrey. She turned her talent for sewing into a business, owning two separate dress shops, which she managed and ran for many years. She and Mac raised three sons and began a family that now boasts more than sixty-seven direct descendants. Last year, they celebrated their 78th wedding anniversary.
Although a successful business woman, Stella's true passion was community service. She didn't just join an organization. She was President (often twice) and probably held the fund-raising record of all time. In Stella's words, "I want to give something back to a community that has given me so much." Local organizations that benefitted from her tireless efforts included the SPCA, the Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield Women's Club, the Soroptimist Club, Symphony Associates, and Assistance League (just to name a few). She was nominated by four local organizations and named "Woman of the Year" in 1982, won the Girl Scouts "Women of Inspiration" Award, was the first woman to ever be honored with the Italian Heritage Columbian Award, and received countless other awards for her volunteer efforts.
Stella was a devout Catholic and her life bears witness to the tenets of her faith. She gave freely of her time and money. She was incapable of holding a grudge. And she opened her doors to anyone with a smile and a need. Stella was as devoted to her family as she was to the Lord. Her specialty--big family gatherings--events that remain as cherished memories for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Stella was preceded in death by her husband of 78 years, Mac McMurtrey, by her great-grand daughter Lucy Denison, and by her grandson-in-law Clint Kennedy. She is survived by her three sons and daughters-in-law, Jon (Donna) McMurtrey, Don (Sherrie) McMurtrey, and Gene (Betsy) McMurtrey; by twelve grandchildren; forty-three great grandchildren; and eight great-great grandchildren.
A visitation will take place on Tuesday, January 3, 2016, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Greenlawn Mortuary, 3700 River Blvd. A rosary will be held on Wednesday, January 4, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Francis Church, 900 H Street, with Mass immediately following at 12:00 noon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in honor of Stella McMurtrey to a .
Published in Bakersfield Californian from Jan. 1 to Jan. 3, 2017
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