“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
- Traditional Irish Blessing
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Joseph D. Murray, 99 years and 7 months of Montgomery Street, Fredericton, NB on Sunday, September 25, 2022 at the Orchard View Long Term Care Home, Gagetown, NB.
Born February 25, 1923 in Magherafelt, County Derry, Northern Ireland, he was the son of the late Patrick and Sarah (Glass) Murray. He was the last surviving member of his family. Along with his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers Patrick, Jack and James, and sisters Agnes and Maureen.
Joe’s family emigrated to Canada from Northern Ireland in 1929. He always considered Northern Ireland home and traveled there frequently, maintaining lifelong connections with family and dear friends.
Joe was predeceased in 2020 by his beloved wife of 68 years, Yvonne (Gautreau) Murray. He is survived by their five sons: Dennis (the late Joan (Hewitson) Murray) of New Maryland, Paul (Johanne) of Plaster Rock, James (Bonnie) of Fredericton, Patrick (Janice) of Cole Harbour, NS, and Chris (Michele) of Dundas, ON, and by 12 grandchildren: Jenna, Dylan, Colin, David (Amanda), Andrew, Jennifer, Christopher, Jacqueline, Emily (Michael), Patrick (Emma), Hannah and Ben, and eight great-grandchildren: Alexis, Axel, Owen, Charlotte, Angus, Etta, Cora, and Ivy. He is survived, too, by several nieces and nephews.
Joe attended Port Elgin High School and left as a teenager to work in Halifax, NS. Driven to pursue further learning, Joe earned certifications as a locomotive fireman, a locomotive engineer and a stationary engineer (first class). He was employed with Federal Agriculture Research Station in Fredericton in 1959 and retired as Chief Stationary Engineer in 1987. Even in his last week of life he said, “I’ve always wanted to learn.”
Dedication to preserving the past was evident in Joe’s interests. He created an extensive collection of railroad artifacts which have been donated to the New Brunswick Museum. He wrote two books; “The Boat People of Yesterday”, a record of his early years in both Northern Ireland and Canada, and “Steam’s Finest Hour”, a story of operating steam locomotives in Atlantic Canada in the 1940s and 1950s. To quote Joe, “the joys of the past can only be remembered by those who have lived through the era.”
Arrangements have been entrusted to McAdam’s Funeral Home, Fredericton. A Mass of Christian Burial, as well as a celebration of both Joe and Yvonne’s lives, will be held Monday, October 3, at 11 am at St Dunstan’s Roman Catholic Church in Fredericton. A reception will follow at McAdam’s Funeral Home. There will be no visitation.
In lieu of flowers, donations to food banks or a charity of the donor's choice would be appreciated.
The family would like to thank the staff at Orchard View Long Term Care Home in Gagetown for their expert care of Joe over the past two years. Their kindness and concern for Joe was much appreciated.