Bob Murley, age 73 years, a resident of rural Grantsburg (the Benton community), passed away unexpectedly Wednesday afternoon, January 22, 2020, at 3:43 PM at his home.
Bob was born December 9, 1946 in New Castle, Indiana. He was the son of John Clyde and Elma (Knipp) Murley.
On February 1, 1969, Bob was united in marriage to Judy K. Burnett in Murray, Kentucky. She preceded him in death on October 31, 2008.
Bob is survived by: his children – Brian (Lisa) Murley of Goreville and Julie (Rusty) Blanchard of Grand Chain; 7 grandchildren – Hannah (her fiancé, Dillon Street) Murley, Clayton Blanchard, Caleb Murley, Baylee Blanchard, McKinlee Blanchard, Olivia Blanchard and Landon Blanchard; sisters-in-law – Linda (Larry) Slone of Belknap and Mary Murley of Milton, Indiana; brothers-in-law – Lowell Helm of the Benton community and John (Cecilia) Burnett of Bardwell, Kentucky; along with a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, cousins, other relatives, former students and a host of friends.
In addition to his parents and beloved wife, Bob was preceded in death by: a brother – John C. Murley; his father-in-law & mother-in-law – Ernest and Mary Burnett; sisters-in-law – Rosemary Helm and Joellen Newberry; brothers-in-law – Terry Burnam and Ron Newberry; as well as a nephew – Chad Newberry.
Bob grew up in Milton, Indiana. In his youth, Bob served as a volunteer fireman for the Milton, Indiana Fire Department. His father and grandfather instilled the love of baseball in Bob at an early age. He grew up playing the game he loved: Little League, Legion and Semi Pro baseball. He played against Mike Schmidt and Bob Griese during his Semi Pro days in the Indiana-Ohio league. He played for the Phillies’ organization. When his playing days were over, Bob turned to coaching. He has coached continually for the past 51 years. He coached his son Brian from Khourey League through Legion ball. He was instrumental in getting the Legion program going in Metropolis and coached that team for 10 years. During his time there, Bob helped lead Post 306 to three straight district titles.
Bob was a graduate of Murray State University where he earned a Bachelor Degree in Education. Bob and Judy devoted their lives to education and enriching the lives of countless youth throughout the region.
Bob began his teaching and coaching career at the Buncombe grade school where he served as both instructor and principal. He then taught as Massac County High School where he also coached football, softball and basketball. While at Massac County, the softball team had a 3 year record of 56-6, earned a Regional Title and Sectional Title. While teaching at Dongola High School for 1 year, his coaching record was 10-15. Bob then began teaching History at Century High School in 1985. Additionally, he served as Athletic Director as well as coaching basketball and baseball until his retirement in 2005. While at Century High School, Bob’s 20 year coaching record was 375-311 and he helped lead Centurions to a Regional Title in 1987 by defeating Vienna. Following his retirement, Bob volunteered his coaching talent at Vienna High School and Century High School.
Upon his retirement from Century High School in 2005, the school retired his number 44 jersey and renamed Centurion Field, Bob Murley Field.
For the past 2 years, Bob has served as the head baseball coach at Shawnee Community College.
Bob’s love of teaching and coaching was only surpassed by his love and devotion for his family and that was only surpassed by his love of Jesus Christ. Bob has served for the past 20 years as pastor of the Benton Community Church. He was also an organizer and longtime volunteer for the Southern Illinois Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was a staunch supporter of his family and loved attending his grandchildren’s activities.
Bob loved working in his yard. He was a devoted fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds, and loved watching and supporting Indiana University basketball, and Notre Dame football.
Bob’s motto was HIT: Have fun, Improve daily, and Total commitment.
A service honoring the life of Coach Bob Murley will be conducted Monday morning, January 27, 2020, at 10:30 AM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna. Bob’s children, Brian Murley and Julie Blanchard assisted by Dr. Ron Ferguson will officiate.
Burial will be in the Metropolis Memorial Garden.
The family will receive relatives and friends beginning at 3 PM Sunday, January 26, 2020, at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.
Memorials may be made to the Bob Murley Scholarship Fund, c/o City National Bank, Post Office Box 380, Metropolis, IL 62960.
Honored to serve as pallbearers are: Larry Slone, Jason Gray, Steve Pobst, Dillon Street, Caleb Murley, Clayton Blanchard, and Rusty Blanchard. Honorary pallbearers will be: Lowell Helm Marlan Hight, Larry Grace , Kenny Reichert, and Skip Junkerman.
To share a memory of Bob or to leave an online message of condolence for his family, please visit www.baileyfh.com
Arrangements have been entrusted to Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.