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Obit – Mr. William “Billy” Murray

Former Carthage resident Mr. William “Billy” Murray died February 9, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada, following a battle with cancer.

Funeral services and burial were conducted February 19th from the Pahrump Family Mortuary in Pahrump, Nevada. Burial followed in the Pahrump Memorial Park with full military honors by the Nellis Air Force Base Honor Guard. Andrew Fusco played Scottish songs on the bagpipe for the graveside committal.

Mr. Murray was one of two sons born to the late George William Murray, who died June 18, 1994 at the age of 74, and Sadie Altie Gross Murray, who died May 16, 1997 at the age of 75, and was born William Edward Murray at the former McFarland Hospital in Lebanon on September 16, 1946.

He grew up in Chestnut Mound and mainly on Carmack Avenue in Carthage and also spent time in Titusville, Florida where his father worked for N.A.S.A. and was also a World War II veteran who served our country in the United States Army Air Corps as an aircraft mechanic.

Following in his dad’s footsteps, Bill enlisted in the United States Air Force and started basic training in November 1965.

Mr. Murray, lovingly called “Skull” by all his high school classmates, was Drum Major of the “Pride of the Upper Cumberland Marching Band” his junior and senior years. He was a 1964 graduate of Smith County High School where he majored in Science and Mathematics. An accomplished trumpet player, he was in the band all four years, also in the spring festivals and played in the swing band all four years. 

He had a unique dry wit about him and his peers at S. C. H. S. voted him the “Most Talented” in the senior class. It was stated in his 1964 year book that: he was crafty-restless-impertinent and that he said, “Sometimes I sit and think, mostly I sit.”

While in high school he worked after school and on Saturday’s at the former Oldham’s Pharmacy in Carthage.

He served almost twenty seven years and retired at the highest enlisted rank, E-9, or Chief Master Sargent. 

His military career was spent in the United States Air Force Security Services, later re-designated, Electronic Security Command.

Before his retirement in 1991, it was again re-designated as the Air Force Intelligence Command.

Whatever the name, the mission of this worldwide cryptographic intelligence community was to intercept, collect and analyze electronic signals from countries of interest.

The data was provided by various agencies in the Department of Defense and used to help defend our country and her allies.

Mr. Murray was instrumental in this effort during the Vietnam and Cold Wars.

He often to his proudest moment and most exciting time was with the 6924th Security Squadron at Ramasun, Thailand where he met and married the love of his life, Wan. They began dating on July 27, 1970 and were later married in Thailand February 19, 1972 and that was where there first son was born two years later.

In 1972 the Air Force relocated the family to Okinawa where Billy and Wan’s daughter was born.

The Murray family continued to move as Billy’s military career progressed.

They were located at San Vito Sir Base in Italy, MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, and finally Elmendorph Air Base, Alaska, where he retired.

Following retirement, he began work in the private sector where he worked for an oil company in Alaska in information technology. He also did civilian work for Elmendorf Air Force Base for RED FLAG Alaska.

His knowledge of computers was legendary and about Internet Technology were at an expert level.

Aside from Mr. Murray’s love for his family, he loved home brewing that earned him many awards for his beers and his photography.

He also enjoyed studying the Thai people and their culture.  

Surviving, in addition to his wife, is their daughter, Wandee and her two children, Jesse and Shandee; son, Ed and his two daughters, Charlotte & Chloe, and a great grandson, Shandee’s son, Kayden.

This notice provided as a courtesy to the Murray family.


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