Obituary: Vernon Chris Murray

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Vernon Chris Murray

July 23, 1946 ~ Sept. 12, 2020

Vernon Chris Murray, 74, of Rifle, Colorado passed away unexpectedly Sept. 12, 2020, while doing what he loved, hunting on the Flattops.

Vernon Murray
Vernon Mackay

Vern was born was born the second of eight children in Roosevelt, Utah, on July 23, 1946, to Chris Murray and Hilda Hopson. Vern spent his early childhood in Roosevelt and Price, Utah, before moving to Grand Junction, and spending the remainder of his life in Silt and Rifle, Colorado. 

He met his beautiful wife of 50 years, Martha Kehr, in 1969, and three short months later they married on Sept. 20, 1969, in Rifle, Colorado, where they lived and raised two sons, David and Wayne. Vern loved his morning coffee and cigarettes with lifelong friends at Order Up where he was a part of their family. He loved his grandchildren Keelee, Ely and Auri with all his heart and enjoyed family camping trips, hunting, riding his side by side and with Vern there was always a good chance a prank or two was in the works. 

Something few people knew was Vern was an accomplished drummer and played in a band for a short time in the late ’60s. He would spend much of his time in the outdoors where he was at peace. He loved boating and fishing at Flaming Gorge, snowmobiling in the Colorado high country and just about anything that would take him to the great outdoors. 

Vern was someone who was always willing to help out anyone in need whether it be family friend or stranger. In his early life he spent time working with his dad Chris as a stone mason prior to starting his career as equipment operator. He started his equipment operating career with Bob and Chub Squires for many years prior to going to work for the Garfield County Road and Bridge Department where he retired after 30-plus years. He was an accomplished equipment operator and his specialty was the motor grader. In 2005 he won the Colorado state equipment rodeo motor grader state title. He was a volunteer firefighter early in his life and there wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix with rivets, duct tape and a welder. 

His humor, infectious smile and laughter will be missed by many. He was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. We love you, Vern. 

Vernon is survived by: his loving wife Martha of 50 years, son David Murray (Westy) of Meeker, Colorado, son Wayne Murray (Alison) of Rifle, Colorado, sister Charlene Parker of Rifle, brother Randy Murray of Rifle, sister Pamela Murray of New Mexico; grandchildren Keelee Murray, Ely Murray and Auri Murray.

Vernon was preceded in death by father Chris Murray, mother Hilda Hopson, brothers Jimmy Murray and Roger Murray, sisters Donna Hardy and Linda Murray.

When I enter through the 

Pearly gates and come into

Your glory land, instead of

The mansion you promised,

Lord how about just an

Old tree stump on the mountain 

And my ole green coffee cup

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