2017-02-16 / Obituaries

Elwin 'Varce' Murray

Elwin "Varce" Murray, 90, of Pulaski, NY, died Feb. 14, 2017, at his home at Houghton Lake, where he lived for nearly 40 years.

A service will be held Saturday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m., at St. Hubert Catholic Church, 7612 West Higgins Lake Dr., Higgins Lake.

He was born in Pulaski, NY, to Roy and Irene (Burns) Murray July 19, 1926. He grew up the oldest of four brothers on a small farm in a small town in upstate New York. He spent his youth playing sports, where he earned his nickname “Varce,” short for “Mr. Varsity.” 

After serving in the Navy during World War II, he earned his teaching credentials in Oswego, NY, and his master’s degree at the University of Michigan. He loved his time as a teacher and administrator in the Bloomfield Hills School District. 

His tough but fair approach to education was respected by the hundreds of young lives that he impacted.

Mr. Murray loved the outdoors, camping and traveling. A carpenter’s son, he proudly built his first home by hand. He instilled in his two children, Marylynn and Michael, the belief that there was nothing in this world you could not accomplish with hard work. His competitive spirit and never-quit attitude lives on in them today.

He married his wife, Joannie, in 1980. After retiring to their home on Houghton Lake, they joyfully entertained their many friends and traveled extensively. Although he may have appeared to have a tough persona, he was a softy at heart, professing his love for his wife frequently.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Roy and Irene Murray; and his three brothers, Larry, Ed and Gene.   

Surviving are his wife, Joannie; daughter Marylynn (Greg) Cole; son, Michael (Carol) Murray; grandchildren, Dayna (Petros) Papadakis and Michael (Pauline) Murray; and great-grandchildren, Fletcher, Callie and Jasper.

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