Douglas Murray, 1920-2017
Douglas David Murray, aged 96, passed away at his home in Oakmont on Feb. 18, 2017. Doug was born on May 21, 1920, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is survived by Barbara, his wife of 70 years; daughter, Diana Reddy; son, James Murray; grandchildren, Melani Gantes, Kashwan Reddy, Cameron Murray, and Ian Murray; and great-grandchild, Lakshmi. He was preceded in death by his son, David Murray.
After graduating high school, Doug studied at Michigan State Normal College in Ypsilanti and Central State Teacher’s College in Mt. Pleasant. With one semester to go, the attack on Pearl Harbor prompted him to enlist in the Army as a radio operator. During his time in the Army, Doug served in the 542nd Engineer Amphibian Regiment and was stationed in the U.S., Australia, New Guinea, Philippine Islands, and Japan. After his service, Doug traveled to San Jose, California, to reunite with his sweetheart, Barbara. There, he received his undergraduate degree at San Jose State University and, in September 1947, started his 34-year career in teaching and high school administration. Doug taught at Turlock High School, Sequoia High School, and Menlo-Atherton High School. Shortly after receiving his Master’s degree in Studies from Stanford University, Doug held roles of Dean of Boys, Vice Principal, and Principal at San Carlos, Menlo-Atherton, and Carlmont high schools. He was most proud of the impact he made as principal of Menlo-Atherton. The school was experiencing racial tension in the 1960s, which culminated in a riot on Doug’s second week there. Doug was instrumental in creating the Dad’s Club: a group of African American and Caucasian dads that patrolled the campus – together. Staff was also hired that more closely represented the student body. In the end, Doug was able to turn a difficult situation into one where the community became united, and students could feel respected.
After retirement, Doug and Barbara were active in the tennis club; enjoyed traveling and bird watching with the National Audubon Society; and enjoyed visiting their condo in Maui. Doug was an active member of the Kiwanis Club for over 50 years. Still an educator at heart, he was influential in getting Oakmont residents to support the Kenwood School parcel tax, and subsequently became a member of the Kenwood Board of Trustees. He was known for his love of journalism, genealogy and Hawaiian petroglyphs. And, he was loved for being a sometimes silly and playful grandfather, a sharp dresser, and a quick-witted but welcoming conversationalist. Most of all, he will be remembered for his respect for all human beings, his strong work ethic, and his loving nature toward his family and friends. Tata, we miss you and are grateful for the time we had you in our lives.