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Douglas J. Murray

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Douglas J. Murray Obituary
DOUGLAS J. MURRAY, 72, OF DOWNINGTOWN Douglas J. Murray, 72, of Downingtown, PA passed away on June 14, 2012 after a brief illness. Born in Carbondale, PA in 1939, he graduated from Scranton Prep in 1957 and in 1961 received a BS in Civil Engineering from Villanova University. In 1963 he married the former Sheila Jordan and they are survived by six children, Mary Sheila Gleason (Richard) of Spring City, PA, Erin Murray of Longmont, CO, Jennifer Gleason (Bryan) of Baltimore, MD, Douglas, Jr. (Megan) of Pottstown, PA, Kathleen Tremblay (Darren) of Fort Collins, CO and Susan Masciopinto (Fabio) of Los Angeles, CA. Sheila Jordan Murray passed away in 1994. Mr. Murray remarried in 1997 to the former Joan Dougherty Merschel. He is survived by four step-children, Lisa Quinley (Steven) of Hillsborough, NC, Jeff Merschel of Newtown Square, PA, Kate Dailey (Scott) of Charlotte, NC and John Merschel, III (Christie) of Phoenixville, PA. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and seven step-grandchildren. Mr. Murray taught Physics and Mathematics at Malvern Prep for several years after graduating from Villanova. He later served as a Trust Officer of the First Pennsylvania Bank in Philadelphia. In 1969, using two of his father's patents pertaining to waste water pollution, Mr. Murray and his brother-in-law, Jim Jordan, founded Nayadic Sciences, Inc. and took the company public. In 1971, control was sold to CertainTeed Products Corporation of Valley Forge. Mr. Murray joined CertainTeed as Director of Research and Development and also became President of a research joint venture between CertainTeed and The Franklin Institute Research laboratories. In 1976 Mr. Murray and Jim Jordan purchased the Columbia Hotel restaurant in Phoenixville, PA. While owning the Columbia Hotel, the Murray-Jordan Restaurant Corporation purchased the boarded-up Phoenixville railroad station from Conrail and turned the building into one of the premier banquet and wedding venues in Chester County, The Columbia Station. In 1982 Mr. Murray entered the property and casualty insurance business as founder and president of Murray Insurance Corporation in Phoenixville. He retired from the insurance business in 2009. He was a long-standing member of the Villanova University Varsity Club where he was selected "Man of the Year" in 1990 for his record of service for the last three decades. He was a founder and past president of the Wildcat Club and served as Chairman and spokesman for the much publicized and ultimately successful Committee to Restore Football to Villanova. He is a past president of the Villanova General Alumni Association and served as a member of the Association's Liason Committee to the Villanova University Board of Trustees. In 1984, the General Alumni Association awarded him the prestigious Alumni Medal for his outstanding service to the university. In 1985 he was named Loyal Son of Villanova by the Alumni Club of Philadelphia. He was also awarded the Engineering medal. From 1984 to 1997 he wrote a weekly column for the daily newpaper "The Evening Phoenix". His column entitled "American Family: Alive and Well" received the 1985 Freedoms Foundation Award. He was active in the Phoenixville community and in East Pikeland Township. He served on the East Pikeland Planning Commission and the Board of the Phoenixville Area Chamber of Commerce. He served as a member of the Chester County Industrial Development Authority for 28 years and as President of the Phoenixville Area Economic Develpment Corporation (PAEDCO) for 27 years. Contibutions in Doug's name can be made to the Association for the Colonial Theatre, P.O. Box 712, Phoenixville, PA 19460 and Citizens Advocacy, 205 Church Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460. A Memorial service will be held at the Phoenixville Foundry, 2 N. Main Street on June 27 at 6:30 p.m. Condolences may be given to the family at www.DevlinRosmosKepp.com.

Published in The Mercury on June 22, 2012
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