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1939 - 2012 Obituary Condolences

July 11, 1939 - Jan. 20, 2012

Dick was born in Alhambra, CA to Lillian and Eldon Murrill. As a young child, Dick grew up in southern CA. After WWII was over, the family moved to KS, where his dad worked in construction for several years. Then the family moved to the Sacramento area, many of Eldon's relatives lived in that area and there were many large family gatherings from water skiing trips to camping and fishing. Dick attended El Camino High School and was an avid cross-country runner. He graduated with honors in 1957. UC Davis was the next stop on his journey. He graduated from there with a major in Zoology in 1961. Following graduation from Davis, Dick married Donna Rundell on June 17, 1961. Dick entered dental school that fall and graduated in 1965 from University of Pacific School of Dentistry. Dick spent the next two years with the US Army at Fort Riley, KS, where he was in charge of a dental clinic. In 1967, the family moved to Chico and a few years later, to Durham. Dick practiced Dentistry with the Rio Lindo Dental Associates in Chico for most of his dental career. He really enjoyed being a dentist and loved his patients. He retired from Dentistry in 2001.

During high school and college, Dick was a member of the Northern CA De Molay installing team, traveling to many locations installing officers. He was dad advisor for the local De Molay chapter for a number of years. He was a holder of the degree of Chevalier and Legion of Honor. He was also a member of the Chico Masonic Lodge.

His real love in life was fly-fishing. It did not matter what kind of fish he was after he loved them all, but bass fishing was probably his favorite. Most of his fishing was catch and release. He also loved designing and tying his own flies, and he tied for other people as well. Dick was a member and former officer in the Chico Area Fly Fishing Club, and in addition to fishing local waters, and the surrounding area lakes and streams, he and Donna traveled to places like Alaska, Argentina, and Russia to fish. His last fishing trip was to the Feather River, where he caught a beautiful steelhead.

Dick also grew and hybridized orchids. A vacation trip to Puerto Rico resulted in Dick coming home with a number of orchid plants. To learn how to grow them, Dick and Donna joined the Sacramento Orchid Society, becoming very active and holding many offices. Many hours of time were spent learning, and then sharing orchid knowledge with others. Dick helped establish the North Valley Orchid Society, which meets in Chico. Dick's interest led to hybridizing Cattleya Orchids, a process that usually takes about seven years before you see the first flower bloom. A number of Dick's orchid's hybrids have been sold in this country. Dick has won many special awards for his plants.

After a very long battle, Dick died from widely metastasized lung cancer.

Dick is survived by his wife of fifty years, Donna. Other survivors are a step-brother, Tom Murrill (Jackie); a daughter, Debra Foster, and her five children, Chad (Holly), Melissa, Rachel, Sarah, and Ellie; (A grandson, Zack died previously) and a son, Dan Murrill (Kellie), and his two children, Shawn and Crystal, and a step-son, Scottie. Dick has one great-granddaughter, Juneau Foster. In addition are Dick's wonderful kitties, Gus, Tiger, and especially Mittens. Mittens has spent hours sleeping on Dick's bed and comforting him.

A special Thank You to Dr. Dawson, Dr Potter, and all of their wonderful staff for the excellent treatment and kindness. Also thanks to Butte Hospice, whose staff members were so caring.

A Memorial Service for Dick will be held at Newton-Bracewell Chico Funeral Home on Friday, February 10, 2012 at 4:00 p.m.

Donations in Dick's name may be made to Chico Science Fair, Butte Humane Society or , in care of Newton-Bracewell Funeral Homes.

You may share your thoughts and memories of Dick online at nbcfh.com.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Jan. 31, 2012
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