James Murtaugh, 87
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James Murtaugh, 87, peacefully passed away Sunday morning. He was born on October 7, 1924, in Lafayette to the late Thomas and Grace Murtaugh. He graduated from Jefferson High School in 1943. He valiantly served in the US Army during World War II and was the recipient of two Bronze Battle Stars. He also received the Purple Heart when he was injured when his tank was attacked by enemy forces. He was the sole survivor of that attack.
On May 1, 1964, he married Mary Jane Sholty. She preceded him in death in February. Surviving are three children, Dave (wife: Jenny), Kathy and Tom; and two grandchildren, Reid (fiancé: Courtney Oliver) and Ali (husband: Carson Harris). He was also preceded in death by two brothers Gerald and Joe, and a sister Rita.
Jim spent most of his life farming on the family farm. Later, he worked for Tippecanoe County and Great Lakes Chemical. After retirement, he enjoyed working part time at the Fairgrounds.
He was a lifelong member of the Tecumseh Kiwanis Club and the American Legion. Jim was active in the 4-H Exhibit Association, and the Republican Party. He served on the Tippecanoe County Council, Tippecanoe County Board of Zoning Appeals, Tippecanoe County Farm Bureau and was president of the Indiana State Farm Bureau. Governors Bowen and Orr each awarded him Indiana's Sagamore of Wabash award for his dedication to this community.
Jim had many close friends and will be remembered for his fun loving and ornery personality.
The family request that donations please be made to the United Way of Greater Lafayette
1114 State St. Lafayette, IN 47905 in lieu of flowers. Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Soller-Baker Lafayette Chapel. Mass of Christian Burial 10:30 Wednesday at St. Mary Cathedral. Online condolences send to www.soller-baker.com.
Published in the Journal & Courier on Aug. 5, 2012