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Ron Murray Obituary
Austin financial adviser Ron Murray, who got a new lease on life three years ago when he received a heart transplant, died from West Nile virus Friday, his daughter, Arren Murray, said.

Arren Murray said her father had been hospitalized for more than a week from the illness and had slipped into a coma prior to his death. Ron Murray was 69.

Lou McCreary, an Austin attorney, went to visit his friend late last week. "It's very sad and ironic that after three years of great progress with a new heart, a mosquito bite brings him down," McCreary said.

Arren Murray said she and her father moved to Austin in 1992 from San Diego so she could attend Westlake High School. "Mom died when I was 10, so it's just been me and dad. He dedicated his whole life to me," she said. In 2006, Ron Murray developed a type of heart disease in which the heart muscle progressively weakens. In August 2009, about three weeks after he'd been placed on a list to get a heart, Murray got one from 40-year-old Kevin Underhill who died Aug. 16, 2009, three days after crashing in his first bike race at the Driveway Austin, a closed-circuit paved track east of U.S. 183.

Murray's body took to the new heart, and he ran with it, friends said. Murray was often seen on his bike around Lady Bird Lake. He loved music and kept playing keyboard, piano and harmonica after being in a band in California. In his younger days, the Air Force veteran was also active in hang gliding, sailing and snowboarding. "But he also had a passion for learning, and we'd have these intellectual conversations about economics, politics and the future of the world. He was such an intelligent and clear thinker," his daughter said.

Friends McCreary and Derek Howard met Murray at a Westlake football game. "We became instant friends," Howard said. "When the band played, he stood up and danced. He had an outward personality."

The trio made it a pregame tradition to find good barbecue. Murray loved Snow's BBQ in Lexington and Franklin Barbecue in East Austin. "When he moved to Texas, he said he'd hit a home run because of football, barbecue and music," said McCreary.

A memorial service is planned for later in the month.

Contact Ricardo Gándara at 445-3632
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Sept. 5, 2012
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