Richard Dale Murray, 68, of Mansfield, Texas, peacefully passed away in his home on April 17, 2023. Rick was adopted from a German orphanage as a toddler by Billie J. Murray and LoLeita (Murray) Case. He was raised near multiple army bases across the country, but called the Seattle area home.
Rick graduated from Auburn Adventist Academy in 1973, and then from Walla Walla University with a BA in both Theology and Education.
He married Jane Taylor in 1982, and the young couple moved from Kansas to Takoma Park, Maryland in 1983. They lived in Maryland until 2004, when they moved their family to Mansfield, Texas.
Rick was Dean of Men at both Enterprise Academy, Enterprise, Kansas and Columbia Union College, Takoma Park, Maryland. He remembered every young man who was in his dorm, and enjoyed recounting stories of their shenanigans. While at Columbia Union College, he also became the Athletic Director, and was instrumental in developing a competitive athletic department. His passion for making sure Adventist youth had opportunities to play competitive sports continued throughout his life.
Rick’s basketball coaching spanned 40+ years. He coached at Enterprise Academy, Columbia Union College, Spencerville Adventist Academy, Burton Adventist Academy and Southwestern Adventist University. He ran summer basketball camps at Columbia Union College and coached at Morgan Wootten basketball camps.
He believed that many life lessons could be learned through basketball, and was dedicated to guiding his players toward a life where God remained #1.
Rick was devoted to Jane and their three nearly-perfect children. He told hilarious and touching stories about the birth of each child (declaring he was the one who was suffering during labor) and actually got to ‘catch’ their daughter when she was born. Rick had fun taking his family to Rehobeth Beach and Ocean City during long summer weekends, being a tour guide in DC for relatives, cheering at their children’s events (baseball, lacrosse, basketball, gymnastics) and singing along during whatever musical production each of them were in. He was so proud to watch each of his children get married, immediately loved the new son and daughters-in-law, and welcomed them as his own children.
Rick never knew a stranger, and could talk to anyone about anything. His loud booming coach voice and his tall 6’5” frame could be heard and seen from far away. He loved singing (loudly), reading, traveling, Rottweilers, blackberry pie, and the Seattle Seahawks. He was a fan of all music from the 60’s and 70’s (especially The Beach Boys), and could sing every word to most songs from that era. He loved Christmas, and spent many years dressing up as Santa for his kids, nieces and nephews. He insisted on watching all the classic and corny Christmas movies every year. Most of all, he adored his family and being “Papa” to his precious grandchildren.
Rick is preceded in death by his parents, Billie J. Murray and LoLeita Case, his step-father Wayne Case, his brother Joe Murray and sister Gladys Murray.
Rick is survived by his wife Jane, children Matthew and Taylor Murray, Megan and Jared Nichols, Zachary and Grace Murray, two grandchildren Jaxon and Isabella, step-mother Nancy Murray, brother Brian Murray, several nephews and nieces, great nephews and great nieces.
A memorial service is planned for Sunday May 14 at 10:00 am at the Arlington Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Rick Murray Athletic Scholarship Fund at Burton Adventist Academy.