Donald Wayne Murray
Colonel Donald Wayne Murray walked on May 27th, 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colo. after a long illness, surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Rawlins on Feb. 6th, 1942 to Wayne and Esther Murray, Don spent his childhood fishing, hunting and getting into various scrapes and shenanigans with his adventurous sister Royalene. During high school, Don met his lifelong sweetheart, Judith Burnett, who he married on Aug. 24th, 1963.
After high school, Don attended the University of Wyoming where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Engineering, became an offensive lineman on the Cowboy’s football team, and joined the ROTC. Upon graduation, Don was commissioned in the United States Army, proudly serving multiple tours in Vietnam. Shortly thereafter, Don and Judy started their family – first celebrating the birth of Julie, Gary, and then Brian in 1971.
Don continued his career in the Army, and found that he truly loved the people he worked with and he enjoyed traveling and living in different places around the world. Over the course of his long career, Don, Judy and their family lived in Hawaii, Italy, Georgia, Texas, and finally in Colorado Springs where Don accepted and excelled in his role at the United States Space Command.
One of the best things about being stationed in Colorado is that Don could now spend more time with his sister Royalene, and her family. The two families began to spend two weeks each summer at Lake Powell, a tradition that lasted over a decade and meant the world to Don’s two nieces, May (Eric) and Jody (George) and later to their children, Cameron, Kay, Haley, and little Kent. At Lake Powell, Don and Royalene’s husband Kent would spend hours hiking, fishing and exploring – establishing a friendship that would last until Kent’s death in 2005.
Don retired from the Army in 1992, and he loved traveling around the United States with Judy and their dogs in their RV. Each summer, he looked forward to when his grandson Jeffrey (Allie) Murray would join them for adventures in the mountains, at Lake Powell, and once to float the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
In later years, Don would plan with great detail cross-country trips in the RV to visit their son Gary, his wife Jenny, and their daughters Tia(Ryan) Havenar and Paige (Ben) Murray. While in Pennsylvania, Don loved doting on his great-grandchildren Alex, Serenity, Lukas and Charles.
Don was a proud member of the Potawatomi Nation, loon clan, and he proudly took as his own name “Red Bear.”
Don has been proceeded in death by his parents Wayne and Esther Murray, his sister Royalene, his "little buddy" Kent, and beloved daughter Julie. Graveside service will be held in Don’s hometown, at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Rawlins, at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday June 4th. Thereafter, he will be set free in the beautiful Snowy Range.
Special thanks to the staff at Memorial Central ICU. We knew he was always in tender care and he loved talking about his conversations with Nancy.