School 09

Donald Byrd Murray

August 28, 1930 ~ July 15, 2020 (age 89)


          Born in Oakland, California, Don was a man of great conviction, and once he set his mind to something, he followed through.  This attribute was life long for him and is best demonstrated by his commitment to serve his country and fellow human beings.  He was but eleven years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked, placing the United States into WWII.  On that day he vowed that he would join the Army and serve in what ever capacity he needed to ensure that his country would be safe.

          He attended San Rafael Military Academy for grades 9 - 12, graduated with honors and enlisted in the US Army.  His path in the service led him to Fort Benning, Georgia where he became a part of the newly reactivated 82nd Airborne, Army Ranger Division.  It was in that capacity that he served this country in the Korean War and carried stories that he shared with whomever would take the time to listen and care.    Upon returning home from Korea, he met and married Elva Mae Nutt, who would become the mother of their six children.  They lived in the Oakland area as Don completed his BA in Logistics and Transportation.  He worked in many industries in that capacity. 

          Eventually he accepted the position of CEO of a company here  in Washington State and moved the family to the Kent area.  He retired as Transportation Manager for all of Trident Seafoods, moving their product from catch to processing to final destinations all over the world.

          The family, after moving to Kent, became active members of the Kent United Methodist Church.  Don’s first wife Elva, passed away in 1999 and in 2000 he married Sheila Wilson, who was also an active member of that church. 

          During his early 20’s Don became a member of the Masonic Lodge, following the footsteps of his father.  His father’s lodge was where he maintained his membership until becoming involved with lodges here in Washington State.  In 2010, he served as Worshipful Master of Des Moines Lodge #245.

          His activity in the Masonic arena was clearly focused on Masonic youth groups, which included Job’s Daughters for his daughters and DeMolay for his sons. In 1985 he served as Associate Guardian of a Bethel of Job’s Daughters and later as a Rainbow Dad of an assembly of Rainbow Girls.  In 2014 he was also honored by being appointed the Jurisdictional Rainbow Dad for both Washington and Idaho and as such traveled all over the Pacific Northwest, including trips to Rainbow events in Oregon, Nevada, Alaska, and to Baltimore, Maryland for the biennial meeting of the Supreme Assembly of Rainbow.

          While in California, Don was an active member of Aahmes Temple of Shriners.  He became the President of their award winning Mounted Patrol and rode with that unit in some amazing places.  They did performances in the famous Cow Palace, several Rose Parades, Hawaii, and were honored to ride in the inaugural parade for President Ronald Reagan, in Washington, DC.

          Don was a man of great faith and would share that good news with everyone he met. He was preceded in death by his first wife Elva, and his son Craig.  He is survived by his wife, Sheila Murray, Kent; son, Wayne Murray, Merced, CA; daughter,  Nancy Skinner (Scott), San Leandro, CA; daughter Julie Murray, Kent; daughter in law, Michelle Murray, CA;  son Scott Murray, (Cindy), Auburn;  daughter Tammy Johnson, (Joe) Kent,; fifteen grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

          A private family internment ceremony was held at Tahoma National Cemetery with a celebration of life planned for a future date.  Check for updates at the Edline-Yahn website,

          As Don was a strong proponent of education, especially for women, the family requests memorial donations in Don’s name be made to two specific scholarship funds.  The first listed provides scholarships to Rainbow Girls, past and present, who are entering their second year of post high school education and the second one is a scholarship that Don and Sheila established at Green River College in Auburn.  This scholarship is slated specifically for women veterans who have served and have returned to college.  The first one is a memorial scholarship for Don and the second one would be labeled the Don and Sheila Murray Scholarship. 


Thank you

Rainbow Dads Scholarship Fund

8531 S 124th St

Seattle, WA 98178


Green River College Foundation

12401 SE 320th Street

Auburn, WA 98092

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