John Joseph Murray, 93, died peacefully at his home on Thursday.
Born in Yonkers, he graduated from Manhattan Prep and Manhattan College. He and his wife Nancy raised their eight children in Syracuse, according to his obituary.
He joined the U.S. Army during the Korean War and volunteered for an Army counterintelligence position in Syracuse. In 1952, he and Nancy “began a love affair with this community that lasted the rest of their lives together”, according to his obituary.
After his military service, he worked for General Electric, then became the first full-time employee of Syracuse University Research Corporation.
During his life he also worked for the Crusade for Opportunity, one of the first anti-poverty programs in Syracuse; Deputy Director then Regional Medical Program Director of Central NY; for the American Management Association; and eventually his own company, Management Circle Consultants. He worked through the late ’70s, including extensive pro bono work in the Syracuse area, according to his obituary.
She and his wife were involved in the Catholic Interracial Council in the early 1950s and in broader civil rights efforts. During the 1950s, John participated in noon marches to protest Niagara Mohawk’s lack of black employees.
He has been involved with many community service organizations including Housing Visions in Syracuse, United Way’s Success by Six program, Thursday Morning Roundtable, community gardens and bike paths in Syracuse, and he was one city volunteer beekeepers, according to his obituary. He also competed in the Senior Olympics and cycled the hills of Syracuse until he was 80.
He was recently honored with the designation of part of Meadowbrook Drive as “John Murray Ave.”
John donated his body to Upstate Medical University in a final act of generosity, according to his obituary.
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