Joel Thomas Murray Sr. went to be with his Lord on Saturday, February 9, 2019 with his loving family at his bedside. He was born on February 18, 1930 in Bryan, TX to Edwin Ross and Bettie Murray. Joel was a lifelong resident of Brazos County. Until his retirement, Joel was the owner of a sheet metal and air conditioning business with his son called Joel T. Murray Inc. Precision was the hallmark of everything he did. His Christian values also carried over to the workplace. In recent years, he has worked a wildlife management project on his property.
Joel kept his priorities in order; at the center of his life was his complete faith in God. He was a longtime member and former usher of Central Baptist Church. Next in importance was his wife Billye, his son Tommy and granddaughter Macey, as well as many extended family members. Joel was often known to write uplifting notes with scriptures chosen to help with the particular struggles a family member or friend was facing. He was one of the patriarchs of the annual family reunion, where he enjoyed his favorite chicken and dumplings. Joel usually had a good story to tell.
Joel was fascinated by the world of aviation from the age of a child. In the early years, he made model airplanes. In adulthood he became a private pilot- being certified to fly twin engine aircraft. Joel became a World War II history buff, especially the Pacific Theater with its dependence on aviation. Besides reading and studying, he listened to stories from relatives returning from the war. Touring the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, TX with Joel was an experience; it wasn’t necessary to read anything as Joel could totally describe any display. Joel served honorably for six years with the National Guard.
Music was another big part of Joel’s life. He loved country western and was a master with his electric guitar. Playing entirely by ear, he also played the piano, organ, and other instruments. As a young man, Joel was usually a member of a country western band, playing lead guitar. In recent years, he has received much enjoyment playing with a group of senior friends calling themselves the “Medicare Jam Band”.
Joel is joining his loving wife of forty years, Billye; his parents; and his brother, Raymond Murray in Heaven. Left to cherish his memory is his son, Joel Thomas “Tommy” Murray Jr. & wife Audrey of College Station; his granddaughter, Macey Murray of Houston; stepdaughter Billye “Sweetie” and husband Joe Crinieri of Derry, New Hampshire; stepson Tom Schnell and wife Tanya of Talkeetna, Alaska; sister, Betty Perkins and husband Ernie of Bryan; his nephews, Lynn Perkins & wife Pam, and Chandler Perkins & wife Babette; his great-nephew, Michael Perkins; and his great-niece, Melissa Perkins. Not to be forgotten are his loving dog, Joey; his cat, Garfield; and his rooster, Roost.
The family would like to extend appreciation to Joel’s compassionate caregivers at Scott & White Hospital- College Station, and Hospice Brazos Valley Inpatient Facility.
A visitation will be held from 5-8 PM on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at Hillier Funeral Home of Bryan. A graveside service with Final Military Honors will be held at 10 AM on Thursday, February 14, 2019 at Bryan City Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 AM on Thursday, February 14, 2019 at Central of College Station with a time of food and fellowship to follow.
In lieu of flowers the family wishes donations to be made in Joel's memory to Hospice Brazos Valley (1600 Joseph Drive, Bryan TX 77802) or to Adam's Angels Ministry (PO Box 2573, Brenham TX 77834).
Please visit Joel’s tribute page at www.hillierfuneralhome.com to share memories and stories.
Hospice Brazos Valley
1600 Joseph Drive, Bryan TX 77802
Adam's Angel Ministries
PO Box 2573, Brenham TX 77834