The Rev. Willard Monroe Murrie, age 97 years, a resident of Vienna, passed away Thursday morning, April 20, 2017, at 8:42 AM at his home.
Willard was born January 27, 1920 in Simpson, Illinois. He was the son of Walter Willard and Sylvia Anna (Dunn) Murrie.
On December 28, 1943, Willard was united in marriage to Betty Louise McCoy in Middletown, Ohio. She preceded him in death on April 3, 2009.
Willard is survived by: 2 daughters – Rinda Jean Tuck of Sebastian, Florida and Carol Ann Money of Winchester, Tennessee; grandchildren and great grandchildren – Russell “Rusty” Tuck and son, Robyn (Russ) Henson and children, Michael (Paula) Money, Jr and sons., Daniel K. (Jennifer) Money and daughters, Joy Anna (Jeremy) Burris and sons, Molly Grace Matthews and daughters, and Adam Keith (Karen) Waddell and daughter; a son-in-law – Keith Waddell of Vienna; 2 sisters-in-law – Natalie Murrie of Alton and Dorothy Murrie of Lockport; as well as a host of other relatives and many dear friends.
In addition to his parents and wife, Willard was preceded in death by: a daughter – Alisa Karen Waddell; 2 sons-in-law – Ronald Tuck and Michael Money; a sister – Edna Fay Murrie, 3 brothers – Elbert Wayne Murrie, Howard L. Murrie and Clifford Paul Murrie; and a half-brother – Norris Murrie.
Willard was ordained as a minister by the Covenant Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in August 1942 and was a retired teacher having taught for 17 years at Vienna High School.
He was a graduate of the Memphis Theological Seminary of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee and Bethel College in McKenzie, Tennessee.
His ministry included student pastorates at Fullerton and Dewitt, Illinois as well as Lexington and Maple Springs, Tennessee and full-time pastorates at Latta C.P. Church in Ada, OK, Highland C.P. Church in Paducah, KY, Mansfield C.P. Church in Mansfield, MO, Lenoir City C.P. Church in Lenoir City, TN, South Pittsburg, Tennessee, Winchester, Tennessee, Bethel C.P. Church in Kevil, KY, Gilead C.P. Church in Simpson, IL, Mt. Zion C.P. Church in Dongola, IL, and Frayser C.P. Church in Memphis, TN. Additionally, Willard had served as the interim pastor of the Metropolis Presbyterian Church.
Willard was very active in a number of community and civic organizations and served on many advisory boards and committees, namely: Modern Woodmen of America, Omega Phi Fraternity, Vienna Masonic Lodge # 150 A.F. & A.M. and was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason. He was also a member of the Rotary Club and the Ministerial Alliance in each community that he served as pastor. He was a founding member of the Vienna Area Christian Ministerial Alliance. Willard was a member of the Bethel College Alumni Association, the Board of Trustee’s at Memphis Theological Seminary, the Vienna High School Retired Teacher’s Association, the National Education Association, the Illinois Education Association, the Council of Exceptional Children, the Shawnee Development Council of Economic Opportunity (where Willard served as secretary of the Board of Directors), Illinois State Association of Community Action Agencies, the Johnson County Advisory Council, the Shawnee Resource Conservation and Development Council, Past-Chairman of the Shawnee R.C. and D. Forestry Committee. Willard served one year as the State Forestry Chairman for the Illinois State Association of Soil and Water Districts, former district Chairman for the Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District, Tri-County Advisory Council of Soil and Water Conservation District, the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, Johnson County Farm Bureau, Fruit Belt Service Company, Shawnee Wood Energy Product’s Association, Shawnee Firewood Inc., and served on fundraising committees for the United Way, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the Shriner’s Children’s Hospitals.
Willard was honored to serve as a member of the Southernmost Illinois Delta Empowerment Zone (SIDEZ) board of directors as well as the Southern Illinois Stimulus Corporation.
Willard served in the U.S. Army as a Chaplain and obtained the rank of First Lieutenant during the Korean War. He was assigned to the 1st Field Artillery Observation Battalion and served under Colonel Ralph B. Coffin.
Visitation and Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time. This information will be posted once details have been finalized.
The preferred form of remembrance would be donations to: The Memphis Theological Seminary (Willard and Betty Murrie Endowment Fund), 168 East Parkway South, Memphis, Tennessee 38104-4395; or Bethel University, 325 Cherry Avenue, McKenzie, Tennessee 38201; or to Shawnee Community College (Willard Murrie Endowment), 8364 Shawnee College Road, Ullin, Illinois 62992.