Reed Murray, founder of White Mountain Foods, passed away in the early morning hours of April 15, 2008. He was 57 years old. Robert Reed Murray was born in Houston, Texas, on April 23, 1950, to Robert W. and Lorraine E. Murray. In 1955 the family moved to Los Angeles, California. They returned to Texas in 1961, settling in Waco in 1962. Reed attended Richfield High School, graduating in 1967. He then used a Ling-Temco-Vought scholarship to further his education in Aerospace Engineering at UT Arlington, and later transferred to UT Austin. In 1970 he became interested in the natural foods industry and founded Purist Foods, which in 1980 became White Mountain Foods, a highly recognized Austin institution and one of the largest natural food manufacturers in the Southwest. He established White Mountain Foods in East Austin and helped to revitalize the area. Reed held his product to the highest organic and natural standards, earning his company high recognition and a very loyal customer base. He retired in 2001, but he continued to play an active role in the business. Reed's latest project was to start the construction of a state-of-the-art solar hot-water system, which would reduce the plant's consumption of fossil fuels. Reed had a passion for life and a never-ending desire to live it to the fullest. He enjoyed hang gliding, bicycling, motorcycle riding, and he was an expansive reader. He and Julie, his companion, traveled often across the country in his Land Yacht RV and had many adventures to talk about upon their return. Reed was also involved in the ManKind Project and held a variety of leadership positions within this organization. He aspired to the highest ideals for the betterment of human life and community and used his keen mind, good heart, and endless energy to help make the world a better place. Reed leaves behind many family and friends, including his beloved companion, Julie Gold of Austin; his mother, Lorraine Murray of Moody, Texas; his son, Barney Murray of New York; his daughters, Lila Hutto of Dripping Springs, Texas, and Lorraine (Rain) Reed Murray of Burlington, Vermont; his sister, Gail Crosslin in Robinson, Texas; brothers, Jeff Murray of Austin, Texas, Bill Murray of Moody, Texas, and Rick Murray of Axtel, Texas; and his granddaughter, Camille Murray-Wilson of Burlington, Vermont. He also leaves behind many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert W. Murray. In addition to his extended family, Reed had many close friends. He will be sorely missed. A memorial and celebration of Reed's life will be held at Mercury Hall, 615 Cardinal Lane, Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, April 22nd, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Published by Austin American-Statesman on Apr. 20, 2008.