Wilbur Bryant Murray

Obituary
  • "Thank you for your service to our country!"
    - Margaret Brown

Wilbur Bryant Murray "Pete" KANNAPOLIS Wilbur Bryant "Pete" Murray, 87, of Kannapolis, died Saturday, May 31, at his home after a period of declining health. A beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, he was known for his steadfast commitment to his family, his honesty, work ethic, sense of humor, and strong will. He was a source of continual amazement to all who knew him with his knowledge of America's towns and cities and the roads and byways that connect them, the result of 45 years traveling as a long-haul truck driver. He was a skilled carpenter and builder, a gardener, and an automobile mechanic who was passionate and particular about his cars and trucks. A native of New Castle, Indiana, he was born Feb. 21, 1927, to the late Charles Cleveland and Mamie Murray. He moved to Kannapolis as a child, and except for a brief period when he returned to Anderson, Indiana, to find work and his Navy years in Alexandria, Virginia, lived his entire life in Cabarrus County. The youngest of eight children, Mr. Murray, was predeceased by six brothers, Cecil, John, Charles "Junior", Dewey and two toddlers, Paul and Lewis; and one sister, Mildred Murray Crider. His loving wife of 60 years, Betty Etta Shinn Murray, passed away in 2007. A son, Thomas Bryant Murray, died in 2008, and an infant daughter, Linda Kay Murray, died in 1947. In 1946 at age 19 and needing a job, Mr. Murray parlayed a small fib ("sure I can drive a truck") into a career driving big-rigs. He drove first for Keeshin Motor Line, then 28 years for Central Motor Lines, and shorter stints with General Electric, Roadway, Phil Cline, and Consolidated Freight. He served in the United States Navy during the World War II years and worked in a torpedo factory in Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Murray was recently recognized with the Diamond Jubilee Certificate for his 60 years as a Master Mason by the North Carolina Grand Lodge. He was a brother of Cannon Memorial Lodge No. 626 in Kannapolis. He was a member of Royal Oaks Presbyterian Church. Despite his years travelling for work, he enjoyed family camping at the beach, and in retirement traveling throughout the U.S. and Caribbean with his wife and friends. Survivors include three daughters, Rena Carol Rowell (Jim), of Cullowhee, Debra Sue Plott (Steve), of Concord, and Tammie Marie Lathom (Doug), of Kannapolis; and one son, Steven Dallas Murray, of Kannapolis. Also surviving are grandchildren Jennifer R. Tyler (Robert), Heather Rowell, A.J. Rowell, Matthew Plott (Amanda), Hillary Plott, Amber Lathom Yow (Joel), Miranda Murray, Cameron Lathom, and Corbin Murray; and three great-grandchildren, Anna, Peter and Henry Tyler; and special friend June Bryson of Anderson, Indiana. Also surviving are his brothers-in-law George Shinn (Denise) and Bobby Shinn (Mary). Funeral services will be held at 2:30 PM Tuesday, June 3, 2014, at Whitley's Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow at Carolina Memorial Park. The family will receive friends prior from 1:00 to 2:30 PM at Whitley's. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Cabarrus County, 5003 Hospice Lane, Kannapolis, NC 28081. Online condolences may be left at www.whitleysfuneralhome.com.

Funeral Home
Whitley's Funeral Home
1748 Dale Earnhardt Blvd Kannapolis, NC 28083
(704) 933-2222
Funeral Home Details
Published in Charlotte Observer on June 2, 2014
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