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Daryle Gene Murray (Born 10.31.47 – Died 4.06.23), 75, was comforted by the arms of his Lord and Savior on Thursday, April 6, 2023 after a brief battle with cancer. Daryle was born to Henry B. Murray and Imogene (Cox) Murray on Halloween in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He grew up on the south-side of Oklahoma City and graduated from U.S. Grant High School. His ‘stomping grounds’ were often frequenting the ‘Capitol Hill’ area, even taking his first job at a TG&Y department store there, and later working in the jewelry sector for Zales in the same Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Priding himself on being a ‘step-up and be responsible’ person, in the late 1960s he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Vietnam. While serving his country, he connected with his first wife, Doris Lea (Albright) Murray whom he met while she was attending Oklahoma Christian College and noticed a ‘Adopt a Soldier’ posting on a bulletin board whereby she wrote him, and they became pen-pals writing each other letters while he was overseas. He later became a court reporter in the Army, scribing data for important trials.
In 1969, Daryle and Doris married. After attending college in Temple, Texas, he later accepted a jewelry store position as a gemologist working for Michael’s Jewelry in Houston, Texas. In 1974, they had their first child, Jonathan Daryle Murray. Also while living in Houston, in 1978, they had their second child, a daughter named Amanda Beth (Murray) Wilhite.
While having young children and wanting to be closer to grandparents and family in Oklahoma City, Daryle and Doris decided to relocate from Houston to Edmond, Oklahoma in 1980 where they raised their two children, Jonathan and Amanda and had 20 years of marriage before parting paths in 1989.
In 1990, he married his soul mate, Lynda Rae Eastin (Stacy) Murray whom he was married to until her passing in 2018. They met at a social gathering called ‘PWP’ (Parents Without Partners) where they both enjoyed playing games and dancing together. Upon pairing up with Lynda, he graciously accepted and loved her children Todd, Michelle, Celestia & Will (whom he considered his ‘bonus’ kids) as his very own family.
Always committed to bettering himself and boosting his knowledge, after working in the jewelry business for many years, he shifted careers to join the lumber industry where he worked at Payless Cashways and made the decision to return to college at University of Oklahoma (UCO) to major in journalism and obtain his bachelor’s degree, which he did successfully. While he did not land a career in the journalism sector during his life, he continued working in the lumber industry taking a job with Forest Building Materials – but was happy to utilize his journalism ‘know-how’ and skills to compose newsletters for the local Oklahoma City ‘MG Owners’ car club group.
An avid car enthusiast, during family gatherings, Daryle was often known to drag out his ‘Past-Owned Vehicles Scrapbook’ equipped with photographs and factoids of each-and -every car he’s ever owned. This even dated back to his very first car, a 1957 Dodge Coronet in which he still had the original receipt of purchase - where he paid roughly $82 & ‘some change’. He was always very proud of the cars he had owned and loved to talk about their features to any fellow ‘car-nut’.
His adoration of anything automotive extended into his massive collection of car calendars where he would often ‘replay the dates’ to ones that could cycle-over to the current year and his huge collection of Motor Trend magazines, of which he’d obtained every single volume since 1969. Throughout his life, car shows were a special treat and something which he frequented often. He would often enter his 1970s-era MG’s (Morris Garages) autos in local & regional ‘All-British’ specialty car-show events. Even if the cars ran into any road-trouble on the way to a show, he was confident in the group of other fellow gear-heads in attendance to lend a hand and get him back on the road. If he had signed up for a show, he’d always ‘dare to drive’ no matter what.
Aside from his passion for cars was his passion for family. Daryle was proud of his son, Jonathan and would attend his concerts while he played percussion and they would often discuss a mutual interest in music whereby Jonathan would always impress him since he was like a walking encyclopedia of music trivia & classic rock knowledge. He was also proud of his daughter, Amanda who mutually majored in journalism and he enjoyed celebrating her artistic talents. Amanda’s son, Alex was Daryle’s only grandson and someone who Daryle was happy to brag on regarding his artistic and musical talents any chance he had.
In addition to his own children, Daryle would often proudly tell his friends how lucky he was to have such amazing ‘bonus kids and grandkids’. He’d tell anyone about his ‘Hollywood Connection’ having a step-son Todd Felker, a film-editor in Los Angeles, a step-son, William Stacy from Colorado who worked for multiple record labels based in London and New York buying vinyl records for revered stores across the country, and his step-daughter, Celestia Stacy, from Oklahoma City, and her daughters (his granddaughters) Clare and Vien, who are eternally grateful to their bonus grand-dad, friend, and Papa-D for a lifetime of love, support, and laughter that he gave so freely.
Always reliving the “good ole days”, Daryle would reflect on classic TV shows like ‘3D Danny’, ‘Lost In Space’ and poorly filmed ‘Godzilla’ movies, which he would often binge on during TV marathons. He’d also often recite just exactly how many hamburgers, soda-pop, candy-bars, popcorn or hotdogs he could buy in the “days of yore” with just 50 cents or a dollar. Too often, the conversation would merge into talking about the price he paid for a new car in 1970, or any given year during his life.
He had a love for Motown music and had even said in the past, “If it weren’t for the upbeat sound of Motown, I never would’ve made it through Vietnam!” For this reason, Amanda treasures the memory that she had the opportunity to take Daryle to see The Temptations live in concert in Kansas City at which he smiled and sang along loudly with the performance.
As someone who knew and experienced God’s grace, Daryle was confident he would be reunited with treasured souls whom had gone before him. He was comforted by the feeling of peace knowing he would see his wife and loved ones and be welcomed by their loving presence. He’d often say to car friends who had passed before him to, “Save a parking space for me!”
Daryle is preceded in death by his parents, Imogene and Henry Murray, his first wife, Doris Lea (Albright) Murray, wife, Lynda Murray and step-daughter Michelle. He is survived by his son, Jonathan Murray (of Oklahoma City), daughter-in law, Mary Murray, daughter Amanda Murray Wilhite (of Kansas City, MO), grandson, Alex Wilhite, brother Jimmy Murray & sister-in-law, Darla Murray, nephew, James Murray (of OKC), step-son, Todd Felker of California, step-son, William Stacy of Colorado, step-daughter, Celestia Stacy and son-in-law Barry Schmelzenbach (of OKC) and grand-daughters, Clare and Vien Schmelzenbach (of Florida).
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