Harve David Murray, 80, saddled up and rode into the heavens on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, surrounded by his family and his dog Nickie. Brain cancer “outdrew” him.
Born April 17, 1936, in Rock Springs, Wyoming. He is the son of Donna Lynette (Woods) and Harvey Douglas Murray. Dad grew up on the farm with a gun in his hand a twinkle in his eye and a grin on his face. Some of his favorite tales of boyhood were there also the years he lived with his family on Oahu. Anyone who visited the island with him were required to take the tour and hear his stories. Priceless.
Harve took great pride in his service to his country. When thanked he would reply “It was my honor”. Harve served in the US Navy 1954-57. He was Honorably Discharged. He received The China Service Medal. Assigned to the USS Yorktown CD10 as Aviation Ordnance – explosives, missiles, pyrotechnics, aircraft guns and weapons. Flight Line Mechanic on the F104’s. Ground Safety petty officer VF-23 fight sqd. at NAS Moffett Field, California. After the Navy he transferred to the Reserves for eight years. Lockheed Aircraft Corp. bought his time from the Reserves, for his vast knowledge of aircraft and weapons. He was sent to Palmdale, California, as Flight Line Test Mechanic and Armament Test Mechanic troubleshooting and test firing the T171 E3 GE 20mm and the F104’s. He was transferred to the Convair Missile Division at Vandenberg AFB, Lompoc, California, as a Missile Flight Test Mechanic, worked with LOX and fuel systems on the Atlas Missile systems. Later assigned to Lockheed Missile Systems, Launch Crew Technician on the WS 117L Discoverer Satellite Program for 15 actual firings of the missile systems. He was then assigned to Avco Operational Missile Subdivision Lowry AFB Denver, Colorado, as Senior Field Safety and Explosive Devise Representative. Then transferred to Beale AFB, Marysville, California.
On Dec. 21, 1957, he married his true love Judy Harsch, 10 months later their daughter was born; 18 months after that, a son. In 1961 they moved their family to the Santa Ynez Valley, California, where he later enjoyed his retirement. He was a member of the Vaquero’s. Harve spent most of his time team-roping all over the west, always making friends at the local watering holes. He had more hours in the saddle than in his truck.
In 1978 with kids grown they packed up and moved to Six Mile in Huson. They bought and operated the Huson Merc and Post Office in the early 80s. He bought property in the Bitterroot to raise cattle, known as The Ranch. It gave him great pride to see four generations enjoy his beautiful ranch. Over the years Harve enjoyed rodeos, jackpot ropings, riding horses to mountain lakes, camping and fishing, trips to Vegas, snowmobiling, he was always ready for an adventure with his friends. Harve was a long time supporter of the Broncs, Frenchtown High School football team. He rarely missed a game.
Dad had an unmatched love for his family. He loved taking them fishing in Alaska, telling stones of the big one. He was so proud to pass on the tradition of hunting to his kids and grandkids “FROM HORIZON TO HORIZON”. When told Harve was ill he would tell visitors “I’ve had a good ride for 80 years, a good life, a good horse, a good dog and a great family.”
Dad is a lifetime member of: BPOE, PRCA, NRA, American Legion – Post 131, served as Commander of District 5, Veterans of Foreign Wars – VFW 209. A proud member of the VFW Honor Guards.
Survivors include daughter Jolene (Eric) Sayler; son Harve Robert (Kim) Murray; grandkids Chad (Sara) Murray, Jennifer (Nicc) DiGiando, Chase (Chiana) Murray, David Nelson and Sara Sayler; great-grandkids Kaleb and Cael DiGiando, Casidy and DaisyJo Murray, Ehli Nelson and one on the way; sisters Patricia Murray and Carma Meng; long time friends Judy Miller and Margaret Harris and the girls.
Harve’s family wish to thank Partners Hospice for their loving care of Dad, they are truly angels on earth. A service will be at the Western Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery, 1911 Tower St. on Dec. 1, at 1 p.m. A celebration of life, Tri-Tip barbecue by Marvin, will be in the spring.
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