Dennis “Murph” Murray, 70, crossed over suddenly on Thursday, May 11, 2023.
Born on March 1, 1953, he was the son of Dale and Grace Rodgers Murray of Emlenton, Pennsylvania.
Murph attended A-C Valley Schools and graduated from Carson Long Military Academy in 1971. Following earning both B.S. and master’s degrees in sciences and education from Clarion University, Murph taught science in the middle school of St. Marys Area School District in Elk County for 30 years where he was awarded teacher of the year. Prior to teaching, he worked at Quaker State Refinery in Emlenton, Pangborn Abrasives in Butler, and Electralloy in Oil City. As a licensed blaster and great lover of fireworks, he worked for 34 years with Fire Art Corporation in Clearfield as a “shooter” for shows and more recently Kellner’s in Harrisville. He also worked with Otto Cupler Torpedo Company in Titusville.
He pursued blacksmithing, from his youth as a hobby and presented demos paired with “telling lies” atparks and festivals for many years. Murph’s other interests include Civil War reenacting as a Bucktail for over three decades, French and Indian era reenacting, backpacking, hiking, primitive camping, and hunting…“but not finding”. He had an enormous capacity to appreciate humor and enjoyed meeting people and spending time with family and friends. Dennis is survived by Judy, his wife of 20 years; his son, Lewis and daughter-in-law, Michelle of Saint Marys, PA; his daughter, Crystal of Butler, PA; grandson, Lucas of Saint Marys; granddaughter, Grace of Butler, PA; step-grandchildren Kael, Adyson, and Lincoln of Saint Marys, Pa, as well as numerous cousins.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Nancy.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Furthering his interests and love of science and learning, he has donated his body to science. Memorial contributions may be made to the Big Bend Cemetery Association or the Arbor Day Foundation. Murph would look fondly on anyone who plants a tree. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Hile Funeral Home Inc., Emlenton. Condolences may be sent by visiting www.hilefh.com.
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