Barbara Murray, 83, of Hurst, TX passed away peacefully on Friday, April 8, 2022, surrounded by her daughters and son-in-law.
Born October 30, 1938, in Milwaukee, WI, Barbara Jean Calhoun was the middle of three daughters born to Archibald and Muriel Cameron Calhoun. After graduating from Riverside High School in Milwaukee, Barbara worked in retail and restaurant positions where her bubbly personality and quick wit delighted customers and coworkers.
As a young woman, Barbara began a lifetime of quiet service with a volunteer role in the United Services Organization. She once arrived late to a USO dance, ran up the stairs and into the path of USN Seaman John Patrick “Butch” Murray of Housatonic, MA. Following a long-distance courtship, they married in Milwaukee on August 4, 1962, then moved to the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, MA. Upon completion of his Naval service, Barbara and John moved to East Hartford, CT to begin his career and start their family. From there, career moves took the Murray family to Wheaton, MD, Plum Borough, PA, and lastly, Hurst. Wherever they lived, Barbara made time to volunteer in groups reflecting her growing interests, from Meals on Wheels and March of Dimes to League of Women Voters, PTA, and a Christian clowning group called “God’s Clods.”
Barbara was most joyful when surrounded by children. As her daughters grew older, “Miss Barbara” became a beloved nanny to several children, and was often called upon to babysit for large families and those with special needs. She volunteered so often for her church’s Children’s Ministry that they ended up hiring her. Among the multitude of children Miss Barbara cared for in her career, it’s safe to say her favorite role was that of “Mimi” to her grandson and granddaughter.
Barbara will be remembered for her sparkling blue eyes and gentle, welcoming nature that personified the phrase “she never met a stranger.” She was a talented seamstress, making everyday clothing as well as special-event dresses for her daughters and sometimes even their friends. Barbara loved travelling and playing games. She enjoyed painting with friends and socializing with the local Widows & Widowers Group. She had an unshakeable, child-like sense of wonder and gratitude which rested on the foundation of her steadfast faith in God’s lovingkindness.
Barbara is preceded in death by her parents, sisters BetteJo Vento and Judy Musiedlak, her beloved husband and three of their six children, Michael Patrick, Barbara Joann, and Daniel Thomas. She is survived by daughters Anne-Marie Lofton and husband Cary, of Dallas, TX, Carolyn Murray of Bedford, TX and Katherine Murray of Richardson, TX, grandchildren, Zachary and Emma Kate Lofton, cousin Jerilee Janscha of Pinellas Park, FL, sister-in-law Mary Anne Murray of Great Barrington, MA, brother-in-law Bill Capocci of Whitman, MA, along with seven nieces and four nephews.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, April 20, 7 p.m. at Wellspring Church, 7300 Smithfield Road, North Richland Hills, TX 76182. To any who attend and feel so inclined, the family invites you to wear a reflection of Barbara’s favorite color, apple green, or favorite flower, pansies.
On a date to be determined, Barbara will be laid to rest next to her beloved Butch at the DFW National Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are in the gracious care of North Dallas Funeral Home. Donations in Barbara’s memory may be made to an organization of your choosing, or one of several that were dear to her: March of Dimes, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Special Olympics, Mission Barnabas, and the USO.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Texas Health Harris Methodist in Bedford for their tender care of Barbara and her loved ones through her final days.
It was such a nice pleasure to meet you, and what you had planned for my father just took my breath away. It was so special to hear you tell us how he would just come over to talk with you. I think it brought him much comfort. Tha you for putting that Air Force article of him on your website. I am going to have a replica made of the painting of his plane to give you. Thank you again for all you have done to honor our dad. Love, The Gillilands
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