John Francis Murray
January 4, 1933 – August 2, 2021
John Francis Murray of Wrentham, MA and Englewood, Florida died peacefully with his family by his side on August 2, 2021. He was born in Roxbury on January 4, 1933 to William and Mary (Griffin) Murray. Devoted husband of the late Patricia Ann O’Rourke of Dorchester. Loving father of Jack Murray and his wife Margaret Hall of Milton, Teresa and her husband Brian MacIsaac of Quincy, Susan and her husband Scott Kinney of West Roxbury and Jean and her husband Jim Monopoli of Canton. Beloved Grandfather of Jillian, Lauryn, James, Alexander, Christopher, Alivia and Nicholas and great grandchildren John and Genevieve. John was one of 7 brothers growing up in a large closely knit Irish American family. He is survived by his brother Michael and his wife Kathy of West Roxbury. Cherished brother of the late William, Robert, Richard, James, and Thomas. Adored partner of Barbara Eckman of Englewood, Florida.
John attended both Mission Grammar and Mission High School and sang as a child in the orchestral choir at The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Roxbury. He even once appeared in a performance by New York Metropolitan Opera star Rise Stevens at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. He graduated high school in 1951 where he played football and went on to serve in the United States Coast Guard during the Korean War.
Upon completion of his military service he returned home to meet the love of his life, a young nurse from Dorchester named Patricia O’Rourke. After a courtship that bounced between Florida (where Pat was working) and Boston, they were married on July 14, 1956 and began raising their family initially in Jamaica Plain and then Hyde Park.
John worked three jobs while he and Pat raised their young family. He attended night school and received a degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University in 1968.
In 1971 after his wife Patricia suffered a debilitating stroke at the young age of 37, John lovingly and tirelessly cared for her while working full time and attending to all of the household responsibilities of raising a young family as a single parent while Pat slowly recovered.
John spent the entirety of his professional career working for the Boston Edison Company where he was active in his union as a shop steward, ultimately moving to commercial sales becoming Secretary of his union. Later in his career he became a manager for the company working at the Prudential Building. He retired in 1993.
After retirement, John and Pat spent a few blissful years together alternating time between Florida and Massachusetts. But sadly, Pat passed away in 1996 after a battle with cancer.
John’s greatest devotions were his love of family, his grandchildren and great grandchildren. In his early years, he and his brothers and their families would all spend their vacations together at Swifts Beach in Wareham with dozens of little cousins in tow, digging clams, playing cribbage and tossing horseshoes. He was an active athlete his entire life, including playing handball at L Street in South Boston and softball in an over 60’s league in Florida until he tore up his knee sliding into third base at the age of 65.
John was an eternal optimist grateful for every day. He was an avid golfer and well liked member of the Myakka Golf Club in Englewood, Florida, where he golfed his age when he was 86 and played his last round just two months ago. In his retirement years he loved spending time with his family at his summer cottage on Lake Pearl in Wrentham sharing his great love for the outdoors and nature with his grandchildren while teaching them to swim and fish for minnows.
John was blessed to have many close and loving friends throughout his life including the late Pat Chaisson of Weymouth. For the last 12 years he and his devoted companion Barbara Eckman of Englewood spent many happy days together dancing, playing golf, playing cards and quaffing a dozen oysters every now and again with friends.
He had a larger than life personality and a generous spirit. He had a bottomless well of love that he shared with his family and friends and those he touched. He will be dearly missed.
Funeral from the William J. Gormley Funeral Home 2055 Centre St. WEST ROXBURY, Saturday, August 7th at 10:30am. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Theresa Church, 2078 Centre St. West Roxbury at 11:30am. Visiting hours Friday 4-7 pm. Relatives and friends invited.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 1545 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02120 or The Greenlight Fund, 50 Milk Street, 16th Floor, Boston, MA 02109 Greenlightfund.org