Duane Francis Murry, age 94, died on May 3, 2019 at Tender Nest Assisted Living in Billings, Montana with his son Bill at his side.
Duane was born on January 20, 1925 to William Harry Murry and Rose Emma Lambert in Mandan, North Dakota. He joined his brother, Gerald, and sister, Mae. His younger sister, Mary Ellen, completed the family. He graduated eighth grade from St. Joseph School in 1938. Early in 1942, after Pearl Harbor, with his father’s permission, Duane quit high school and joined the U.S. Navy. His first assignment was to serve as a Navy chauffeur in Boston while construction on the heavy cruiser, The USS Baltimore, was finished. When the ship finally got underway, they sailed through the Panama Canal to Hawaii, the South Pacific and eventually to the Aleutian Islands. He was honorably discharged in 1945.
Back in the U.S, he traveled to Montana, Washington and Alaska and enjoyed being home. On his return to Mandan, he met the love of his life, Lillian Sophie Mattson, at a local café after going to the movie with a group of friends. He called a taxicab to take her home and that sealed the deal! His next adventure took him to Billings to look for work. When he found a job, he wrote Lillian asking her to join him. She arrived on the train midweek and they married on Saturday, July 19, 1947 at First English Lutheran Church with two witnesses and the minister.
Duane worked at several odd jobs before joining Gamble Robinson as a warehouseman. He had several delivery routes in Eastern Montana and Northern Wyoming before becoming a salesman for the company. After a short stint as a tanker driver for H. F. Johnson, he returned to Gamble Robinson as an over the road truck driver going as far east as Chicago and as far west as Portland. When Lillian was struck with cancer in 1984, he retired from Gamble Robinson to care for her until she died in June of 1985.
Duane and Lillian had four children from 1948 to 1953; Dennis, Bill, Peggy and Ken. While Bill was still on the way, Duane and his dad built the house on Old Hardin Road in Lockwood, which he owned until 2012 when, due to health problems, he moved to Tender Nest Assisted Living. There he enjoyed the activities, the food, the care givers, and his table mates. He acted as the ‘official greeter’ to all who entered the building and especially enjoyed sitting outside in the sunshine, weather permitting.
Duane is survived by his four children and their spouses: Dennis (Glenna) Murry of Liberty Township, Ohio, Bill (Margie) Murry of Billings, Peggy (Rick) Bertram of Park City, and Ken (Debby) Murry of Bakersfield, California; his eight grandchildren: Kevin Bertram, Jeff Murry, Lisa Brady, Scott Murry, Juli-Ann Moe, Tiffany Lane, Ryan Murry, Tricia Murry and one step-grandchild, Storr Oakland; his 15 great-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Duane was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Lillian, his parents Harry and Rose, his brother Gerald, his sisters and their husbands, Mae and John Quaccia, and Mary Ellen and Marcel Fages.
The Murry family especially thanks Tender Nest Assisted Living for the loving care given Duane for the nearly seven years he resided there. Thanks, too, to Stillwater Hospice for their care and support for the last few months of his life.
His Memorial Service will be held on June 22, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Smith West Funeral Chapel, 304 34th Street West. Inurnment at Terrace Gardens Cemetery with Military Honors after the service. Cremation has taken place. Smith West Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Donations to the charity of your choice. Condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.smithfuneralchapels.com.