Thomas "Jim" Murray Obituary

Thomas "Jim" James Murray

November 3, 1925 - May 14, 2020
Born in Hartford, Connecticut
Resided in Bend, Oregon


Jim Emerged from the Great Depression to enjoy a very diverse and long life.

Jim was born on November 3rd, 1925 in Hartford, Connecticut to Thomas and Mary Murray and died on May 14th, 2020 in Bend, Oregon.

He was predeceased by brothers, Robert and Ronald.

Jim was graduated from John Fitch High School in Windsor, Connecticut in 1944, with a letter in Track, graduated from Central Connecticut University with a major in English, and was editor of Contemporary, a literary publication, acquired a Masters Degree from the University of Hartford and attended business course programs at the University of Connecticut. He was a member of the Phil Delta Kappa. Jim attended the Ann Howard Culinary School in Farmington, Connecticut. Cooking was on of his extreme pleasures.

For many years, he and his wife, Nancy, showed stock horses from Maine to Delaware; Nancy was New England Champion for a number of years. Jim was an officer in the Connecticut Stock Horse Association. While president of the organization, he developed a scoring system for judging stock horse classes which was adopted by the American Horse Show Association. Horses were a life time interest of his.

The Arts and Theater was one of his lifetime endeavors. While a founding member of the Windsor Jesters, (located in Windsor, CT) he directed Medea, Long Days Journey into Night and J.B, as well as other productions. The Jesters is the longest running community theater in operation in the state of Connecticut - Still active. Jim was the Director of Windsor, CT's Tercentennial celebration with about three hundred participants.

He became a Sales Counselor for Orkil, Inc., a General Electric distributor. While at Orkil, he was admitted to General Electric's national Toppers Club (youngest person ever nominated) for his outstanding sales performance.

After leaving Orkil, Inc., Jim became department Head of English at Wethersfield, Connecticut's 1800 student High School for years and was on staff at the University of Hartford, located in Hartford, Connecticut.

After a nine year career in the education field, he and Nancy created Murray Real Estate and developed property. Murray had approximately twenty-five years of experience in virtually all facets of the real estate industry, ranging from development, construction, project management, leasing and more. His extensive and varied experiences included involvement with commercial, residential, retail and industrial properties concentrated in Central Connecticut, Massachusetts and Arizona.

His first Real Estate assignment was the development of a 300 unit condominium development known as Cromwell Hills in Cromwell, Connecticut. In Glastonbury, Connecticut: Gateway Industrial park (100 acres), Southgate Condominiums, Hebron Avenue Development, Hopewell Road Residential Development, Murray Drive off Matson Hill Road and Deercliff off Chestnut Hill Road. He also developed Willowbrook Shopping Center and Cromwell Hills Shopping Center in Cromwell, Connecticut. Also, projects included: The First Windsor Locks, Connecticut, Corporate Landing, which includes Papa Gino's and Friendly's adjacent to Bradley International Airport. Developer of Marlborough Green Shopping Center in Marlborough, Connecticut. In Windsor, Connecticut he developed Maple Court - condominiums.

Drawing on his real estate expertise, he served as Chairman of the Glastonbury Town Planning and Zoning Commission from 1975-1979 where he was instrumental in shaping policy to manage the explosive growth of this tremendously appealing Harford suburb.

Jim Worked with the political campaigns for members of the United States House of Representative including William D. Cotter. It would be the first time that Cotter won all eighteen towns in his District. Tip O'Neill, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States raved about his victory while a guest at the Murray's home in Glastonbury. Murray ran local council members campaigns as well. He was a confidant of Governor Ella Grasso. His political achievements resulted in an invitation to attend President Ronald Reagan's inauguration.

One of his family's lifetime pleasures was spending time at their home at Briar Springs Road, East Orleans, CapeCod, Massachusetts-with a view of the Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Every year, Nancy and their daughter, Kim, went to the Cape for the Summer-swimming, sailboat racing, Kim worked at the Livingston's Pharmacy in Orleans and Philbrick's Snack Shack on Nauset Beach, and the creation of lifetime friends. It was the family's joy to spend holidays, school vacations and summers at their Briar Springs home. Ciro's and Sal's in Provincetown was Jim's favorite restaurant on the Cape.

After more than 25 years in the real estate business, Jim and Nancy established the Tombstone Valley Ranch in McNeal, Arizona and raised cattle for approximately 26 years. Their prized purebred Polled Herefords were sold mostly to ranch owners in Mexico.

Along with the ranch, they opened the Again Consignment Shop in Elfrida and owned a licensed Certified Angus Beef restaurant called the Desert Pony, also in Elfrida. They had other real estate investments in the area including the Black Hat Saloon in Mc Neal.

In addition to his business interests, Jim was executive director of the Elfrida Chamber of Commerce and served on the Board of Directors of the Bisbee Chamber of Commerce as well as a volunteer at the Whitewater Wildlife Sanctuary. He was a member of the First Citizen's Border Patrol organization in Douglas, Arizona, and Chairman of the Elfrida-VisionQuest Advisory Board and organized the first Homecoming for the VisionQuest Wagon Train.

Eventually, 4,000 acres of the Ranch was subdivided and marketed as Tombstone Valley Ranchers. Parcels were sold by Jim throughout the United States, England, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Jim enjoyed travelling to McNeal often to visit his friends and neighbors in this part of the world he enjoyed so much. There is no more beautiful sight than Davis Road to Frontier Road-he called it his piece of heaven!

He was a member of the University Club in Harford, Connecticut, Patron member of the Tower Theatre in Bend, The Bend Athletic Club and Lifetime membership in the Oxford Club, land this organization's Chairman Circle, Metropolitan Opera Patron and Tetherow Golf Club in Bend. Jim and Nancy enjoyed a membership at Pronghorn Golf Club, a paradise in Bend. Jim also enjoyed volunteering at Healing Reins.

He and Nancy moved to Bend on September 11, 2001, to be with their daughter, Kim and grandchildren, Allison and Jillian.

Jim is survived by his wife of almost 69 years, Nancy; their daughter, Kim; grandchildren, Allison Lynn and Lucas Barrett, Jillian Mae Washburn and Dylan Strom, Douglas and Vincenza Moody, Great Grandchildren, Evan, Aylam Jazyn, Dominic and Hadley. Jim leaves behind many nieces, nephews, cousins and host of friends who have all been touched by him, his works and his kindness.

Special thanks to his friends who made it possible for him and his family to return to Bend during these difficult times. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center, 60575 Billadeau Road, Bend OR 97702 or Partners in Care, 2075 NE Wyatt Court, Bend OR 97701.




Funeral Home
Baird Funeral Home - Bend
2425 NE Tweet Pl
Bend, OR US 97703