James Alexander "Jim" Murray passed away on Friday, July 5, 2013 at the age of 93. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 24, 1920 and was raised in Long Beach, California.
Jim joined the Navy in 1939 at age 19 and on December 7, 1941, standing with his fellow sailors raising the flag in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, he looked overhead and bore witness to the unfolding on WWII.
He longed to fly and got his wish, becoming a crew member on one of the Navy's PBY Catalinas. During his 20-year Navy career, Jim visited many places including, back to Pearl Harbor twice; Perth, Australia; Guam and other South Pacific Islands. He was one of a handful of the last known Pearl Harbor survivors living in Skagit and Island Counties.
Jim was active in the PBY Association and a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors' Association North Cascades Chapter 5. He was a great story teller with a dry sense of humor and a quick chuckle.
After he retired from the Navy, he went to work for the U.S. Post Office settling in Mount Vernon where he met and married his wife, Ruth in March of 1959. They would have celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2009 however, his beloved Ruth passed away in November 2007.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth; daughter-in-law, Jeannette Beam; and daughter-in-law, Lynn Murray.
Surviving family members include his sons, Jim Murray, Bob and daughter-in-law Pam Murray; daughter, Michelle and son-in-law Charles Beam; grandchildren, Alex and Jessica Murray and their three children, Tatum, Tucker, and Boden; Ron and Kelly Clark; Shelley Chase and her daughter, Rianne Chase and her two children, Aly and Gabe; and Michelle's daughter Yasha. He is also survived by his sister, Carol Guerre and her six children.
In Jim's later years, he was active with the Burlington Senior Center crowd enjoying lunch and playing cards for many hours with his friend, Jean.
Jim and his wife, Ruth, were interred at Tahoma National Cemetery on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. You are invited to share your memories of Jim, and sign his online guest register at www.kernfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are under the care of Kern Funeral Home.