The Rev. John (Jack) Patrick Murray died Nov. 4, 2012 in Las Cruces, N.M. He was born March 17, 1925 in Hartford, Conn. and raised in Milford, Conn. where he attended school. Jack joined the U.S. Army in 1943 before his senior year of high school. After training in England he served as a surgical technician in the 40th Field Hospital as an anesthetist assistant, participating in battles and campaigns in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe. He was honorably discharged in January 1946. After military service Jack completed his high school education, and went on to attend Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan., graduating in 1952 with a BA. In 1956 he graduated with a M.Div., from Augustana Theological Seminary, then located in Rock Island, Ill. It was later merged into the Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, Ill.. He did post-graduate work at: University of California, San Diego, Calif.: Valpariso University, Valpariso, Ind.; Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas. After his ordination in the Lutheran church in 1956, Jack served as pastor of Bethal Lutheran Church, in Lyford, Texas (1956-1960), and later as senior pastor of Augustana Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas (1960-1966). During the years 1967-1968 he was the assistant director of Houston Cooperative Crime Prevention Program, Houston, and the Executive Director of Houston Council of Human Relations, Houston. From 1969 to 1974 Jack was the executive director of Project Equality of Texas-La. Starting in 1974 he was an assistant deputy chief, Harris County, Juvenile Probation Department, retiring in 1992. Like a number of ministers during the 1960s, Jack was active in the Civil Rights movement, participating in marches, such as those in Alabama, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. During this same period, he served as a member of the Board of Regents of the Texas Lutheran College, Seguin, Texas, and as dean of the Eastern District, Texas-Louisiana Synod, Lutheran Church in America. In the early 1990s Jack spent many hours working on an innovated housing project in Houston, called New Hope Housing. After retiring, Jack and his wife Greta moved to Marfa, Texas where he was instrumental in the restoration of their 100-year-old adobe house. During their years in Marfa, Jack was deeply involved in the local community. In 2007 he and Greta moved to Las Cruces. Jack joined the Episcopal Church in 1985, and was very active at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Marfa. He was ordained a priest in 2002, and served in Marfa as assisting priest, until moving to Las Cruces, where he served as assisting priest at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church until his death. Jack leaves his widow Greta Grace Murray; children - Michele Murray, Michael Murray (Robin), Janice Murray (Bart), John Murray (Gwen), Richard Rogers (Myriam); brothers - David Murray, Daniel Murray; brother and sister-in-law Roy and Zelma Lashway; nephews - Calvin Lashway, Clin Lashway (Paulette); and grandchildren, great grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends. A service of resurrection will take place at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 at 11 a.m.. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Mesilla Valley Hospice, St. Andrew's or a . Arrangements are with Getz Funeral Home and Getz Family Crematory 1410 E. Bowman Ave, Las Cruces NM 88001. To sign the local online guest book, go to

Funeral Home

1410 E. BOWMAN AVE. Las Cruces, NM 88001
(575) 526-2419

Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Nov. 11, 2012