Michael "Papa" Murray

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Michael "Papa" Murray

BELGRADE - Michael "Papa" Murray died unexpectedly on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. He was born to Maurice and Marguerite Murray, April 17, 1941, in Philadelphia, Pa. Mike called Belgrade home, residing in the third and final house he built with and for his family, until his death.

Mike came of age in Groton, Conn., enlisting in the Navy at 17. While stationed in Brunswick, he met Pam Harrington, the only person he would ever know with stronger opinions and force of will than him. Upon his discharge from the Navy in 1962, they married. Mike was very proud of his military service and the opportunities it afforded but, naturally ambitious, he desired more. Beginning to chart a course that never wavered, he set his sights on and achieved a cap, gown and diploma from Brunswick High School.

Mike and Pam found themselves celebrating the birth of their children, Allison and Michael Jr. "Joey," and preparing for Mike's enrollment in the University of Maine's engineering program.

His focus and determination, coupled with Pam's commitment to their goals, allowed him to complete his degree successfully while working full-time to support his young family.

As a career Maine Department of Transportation employee, Mike's wide-ranging experiences, from working on road crews in remote western Maine to supervising ferry services along the coast, prepared him well for his final position as the executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority. He worked tirelessly in this position to reestablish passenger rail service between Portland and Boston.

Mike viewed this extremely challenging project as the culmination of his career, celebrating the Downeaster's maiden run with family, friends, and political dignitaries on Dec. 15, 2001. He retired shortly thereafter to spend his time with Pam in her final years. In retirement, Mike enjoyed occasional travel, golfing, keeping up with friends on the internet, and socializing with his local Elks Club, VFW, and American Legion Post.

Mike acknowledged his strong personality proudly, often saying, "You either love me or you hate me." However, his tough exterior belied a soft side best typified by his interest in his grandchildren's wellbeing and his devotion to his tiny "lap dog," Sassy.

He was a force of nature who will be missed by his daughter, Allison Murray, and son-in-law Gary Dumond; son, Michael "Joey" Murray, and daughter-in-law Geetha Ganesan; and grandchildren, Rhiannon Sawtelle, Liam Murray-Dumond, and Eagan Murray.

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at Belgrade's Pine Grove Cemetery. Arrangements are in the care of Knowlton and Hewins Funeral Home and Cremation Service, One Church St., Augusta, where condolences, memories, videos and photos may be shared with the family on the website obituary page: www.khrfuneralhomes.com.

In lieu of flowers,
donations may be made to the
Kennebec Valley Humane Society
10 Pet Haven Lane
Augusta, ME 04330, or
American Legion Augusta Post #2
P.O. Box 5244
Augusta, ME 04332,
or other charities









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Funeral Home
Knowlton & Hewins Funeral Home
1 Church Street
Augusta, ME 04330
(207) 623-8722
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Nov. 8, 2017
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