Preston Bailey Murray, 83, of Wellsville, beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died on Wednesday, May 15, 1991, of complications incident to old age, at Bear River Valley Hospital in Tremonton.
He was born March 16, 1908, at the old Murray Ranch in the mouth of Narrow Canyon in Wellsville. He was the 11th of 12 children born to William Archibald Murray and Amanda Bailey Murray. He married Valene Squires Poppleton on June 13, 1933, in Ogden; the marriage was later solemnized in the Logan LDS Temple on June 13, 1941.He lived in Wellsville most of his adult life, except for the last two years which he spent in St. George and Tremonton at his daughter's homes. He was educated in the Wellsville District School, South Cache High School and he attended the Agricultural College and the LDS Institute, Logan, for two years. When he was 16 years old, he moved to Idaho where he worked for the state government in a biological survey in Drummon, pursued a pilot's license in Boise, spent two years trapping in the Mud Lake area and five years trucking potatoes in Tyhee. He also worked for a brief period in California. Upon returning to Utah he began a life-long pursuit of engineering, welding and farming. He worked 25 years as a maintenance mechanic for the Morning Milk Company in Wellsville. For years he was the only man in Cache Valley who knew how to roll boiler tubes. He worked at Thiokol for seven years as their only "A" welder. He capped-off his employment with ten years at Clearfield Cheese Company, where he helped with the development of the plant and its operations. At the age of 60 years, he went to work for the Cache Forest Service in Logan where he worked in maintenance and the retirees' "Green Thumb Program" for another 20 years. He also acquired and operated a farm for many years.
He had been active in the LDS Church in various positions: Scouting, Sunday School superintendency, teaching various classes and home teaching. In the later years of active life, he was a High Priest in the Wellsville 3rd Ward, Church Magazine representative for more than 10 years and temple worker.
Preston loved the outdoors and he loved to build things that required welding. He was widely praised and well known by many for his characteristics of friendliness, good humor and hard work. He was an avid reader and debater. He had a great love for poetry, had memorized numerous poems and he loved to share them with family and friends. He will be remembered for generations within the Murray Family as a great patriarchal figurehead and spiritual leader.
Survivors include three sons and two daughters, Arlin P. and wife, Joyce, Wellsville; Joel P. and wife, Mikki, Hemet, California; Sandra and husband, Dr. Carl A., Tremonton; DeAnna and husband, William, St. George; Dr. Bruce P. and wife, Leona, Kaysville; 20 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Ada Conrad, Salt Lake City; and Rita Olsen, Pocatello, Idaho. He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife, Valene, three sisters, six brothers and two grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 18, 1991, noon in the Wellsville LDS Stake Center, 30 South Center St. Friends may call Friday from 6-8 p.m. at the Allen-Hall Mortuary, 34 East Center, Logan, and Saturday 10:30-11:30 a.m. before services at the church. Burial will be at the Wellsville City Cemetery.
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