McMURRAY, ALMA FERN (WAITS) Alma Fern (Waits) McMurray born on November 22, 1921, died peacefully on January 28, 2010, after a short illness at Fredericka Manor in Chula Vista. A longtime resident of Chula Vista, she lived on Hilltop Drive for 35 years with her beloved husband James J. McMurray who preceded her in death in 2006. She was a much loved teacher at Bayside Elementary in Imperial Beach for 20+ years and retired early so that she and Jim could travel. After retirement, she continued to remain active in the Retired Teachers' Association. The daughter of Olga and Howard Johnson of Grants Pass, Oregon and then Gridley, California she graduated from La Verne College and married J. Frank Waits in 1946. They had three children, Terri, Tom and Cinthia, who were all at her bedside during the last week of her life. She was much loved by all who knew her, from the teaching staff at Bayside to members of the Chula Vista Community Church where she was a member for many years to her new friends at Fredericka Manor where she and husband James "Jim" McMurray moved in 2002. She was known at Fredericka for being kind and welcoming to all she met. Her large extended family will remember her for her sunny and grateful disposition, her love of music and her strong faith. She is survived by her sisters Marie Capen, Wanda Miller and Arlene Harms; children Terri Waits-Smith, Tom Waits, Cinthia Allen, and Lisa Danner; grandchildren Loreal and Kalia Waits-Smith, Kellesimone, Casey and Sullivan Waits, Garrett and Jake Allen, Jennifer LeDuc, and Brian Purdy and numerous nieces and nephews. A private memorial service is pending at Glen Abbey, Bonita.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Feb. 28, 2010.