HERRIN - William Dean McMurray of Mount Vernon, formerly of Herrin, died at 8 p.m. Monday, April 22, 2013, in Nature Trail Nursing Home in Mount Vernon.
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He was born Nov. 18, 1917, in Du Quoin to Carl and Clara (Terry) McMurray and graduated from Du Quoin High School in 1936. After graduation, Dean worked in a drugstore as a soda jerk, apprentice pharmacist and janitor. He also worked in the camera shop at Yellowstone National Park.
Dean was drafted by the U.S. Army in June 1941. After basic training, he was sent to Henderson, Nev., assigned to Medics. He applied and was accepted at OCS with the Army Corps of Engineers and was sent to Washington and then to Australia, where he island-hopped across the South Pacific, building airfields, bridges and roads.
He was awarded the Bronze Star and discharged Christmas 1945. After faithful service to his country in World War II, he worked in sales at Du Quoin Packing Company and as an insurance agent for Metropolitan Insurance.
Dean retired as auditor from Bituminous Insurance Company, traveling parts of four states. He was an active member of First Baptist Church in Herrin for many years before becoming a member of Second Baptist Church in Herrin.
He had a bookkeeping service at home, and he volunteered at the Senior Citizens Center in Herrin doing VITA income tax.
Dean was a past president of the Lion's Club and was awarded the Key Award. He also was a life member and PER of the Elks in Herrin and a member of American Legion Post 645 in Herrin.
He married Eileen Rigdon in 1946 (deceased) and Evelyn Taft (deceased). He married the former Norma Zuelke on Oct. 25, 1969, in Energy; together, they celebrated 43 1/2 years of marriage.
Dean and Norma moved to Mount Vernon to be closer to their children as his health began declining.
Other survivors include Lyn Dinnis of Colorado Springs, Janet Martin of North Carolina, Joanne Choate of Mount Vernon, Kathy (Danny) Presley of Mount Vernon, Karen (Danny) Cox of Zeigler and Eddie Taft of Carterville; 13 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and sister, Wilma Walker of Du Quoin.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Walter McMurray; and sister, Venita Janello.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, April 26, in Meredith-Waddell Funeral Home in Herrin with Dr. Kirby Clark and the Rev. Addison Sharpe officiating. Interment with military graveside rites, conducted by Du Quoin American Legion Post 647, VFW Post 513 and Illinois Army National Guard Honor Detail, will be in Sunset Memorial Park in Du Quoin. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the funeral home with the Elk's 11th Hour Ceremony at 7 p.m. by Herrin Elks 1146.
Memorial donations are suggested and may be made to
, Greater Illinois Chapter, 320 E. Walnut St., Suite A, Carbondale, IL 62901. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Published in The Southern Illinoisan on Apr. 24, 2013