Bill Murray, 81, passed away on Oct. 25, 2011, at his Hood River, Ore., home, surrounded by his family.
Bill was born Sept. 8, 1930, in Woodland, Wash., one of 10 children born to Fred and Laura (Brunner) Murray. The family lived in several communities in Clark County before settling in La Center, Wash., where Bill graduated from high school. He went on to complete the culinary arts program at Clark College in Vancouver.
Bill always loved to cook and bake and decided that baking would be his career. He worked in several bakeries in the Vancouver-Portland area, furthering his knowledge and skills, and in 1970 he and his wife Lorene opened Murray's Bakery in West Linn. The bakery became very well-known in the Portland metropolitan area and in the cities around West Linn.
The early and long hours necessary for the bakery took a toll on his health and the bakery was sold in 1985. He then went to work as a technical consultant for Westco Products, a bakery supply company. Bill traveled in Washington, Oregon and California, helping bakers with problems they might have in producing their products. He enjoyed them and met many nice people.
Bill married the love of his life, Lorene Merz, of Woodland, Wash., in 1951. In September of 2011 they celebrated their 60-year anniversary.
They were blessed with the birth of daughters Evie and Kathie. He loved them very much and was so proud of all their accomplishments. Early hours and long days in the bakery did not keep him from attending concerts that they were performing in or other activities. He was always willing to go wherever or do what they wanted - they jokingly called him "just one of the girls."
Bill always loved children and was delighted when the grandchildren began to arrive. Many hours were spent with them and he developed a special relationship with each of them.
One of Bill's favorite activities was camping. He loved the mountains and Mount Adams was his favorite, where he spent many hours huckleberry picking and exploring.
Bill and Lorene moved to West Linn in 1963 and soon became active in the community. They were members of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church. Bill was a Ruling Elder and served on the Session at Emmanuel.
He was a member of the West Linn Lions Club as well as the Northwest Bakers Association, for which he served as president. He served as a member of the Clark College Culinary Arts advisory board for many years as well as serving as chair of the West Linn Shopping Center Merchants Association.
In 1997 Bill and Lorene retired to Hood River to be near their daughters and other family members. He joined the Hood River Noon Lions Club and he and Lorene became members of Riverside Church.
Bill's love of God was shown in his loving kindness, happy smile and twinkling eyes. He knew no stranger and was loved by so many. He will be dearly missed.
Bill is survived by his wife, Lorene; daughters Evie Hasty and her husband, Rod, of Odell, Ore., Kathie Alley and her husband, John, of Hood River, Ore.; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren: Rod Hasty, his fiancé, Bethany, and her daughter Taylor, Mike Hasty, his wife, Rachelle, and daughter Lilly, Katie and her husband, Bob Breshears, and Matthew Alley; and siblings Harold Murray and Carol Norton, with many beloved nieces and nephews.
Memorial services are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. at the Riverside Community Church, 317 State St., Hood River.
Memorials in Bill's memory may be sent to the Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation, Riverside Community Church, or the charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000. Please visit www.andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for family.
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