Billy Dan Murray


Billy Dan Murray passed peacefully at his home on April 21st at the age of 81. Bill was born on Nov 21st, 1939 to Marinda and Lyle Glen "Penny" Murray in Vernal, UT. Bill married Elizabeth "Betty" Hatch on July 23, 1960 in Vernal. Their marriage was solemnized in the Swiss LDS Temple on Feb 20, 1965.

Bill was born in Maeser and moved to Jensen when he was in the 4th grade. In his sophomore year, Bill was Uintah's first state wrestling champion at 138 lbs. He continued to become Uintah's first three-time state wrestling champion capturing his 2nd and 3rd title at 154 lbs. Bill lettered in football, wrestling, and track in all three years at Uintah. He graduated in 1958. He then went to the University of Utah on a wrestling scholarship from 1959-1961. He married the love of his life Betty while he was at the University of Utah. Bill loved his Utah Utes.

He was drafted into the army in 1961. He served until 1965. While he was still enlisted, Pennie was born in 1963 and Betty and Pennie followed Bill to Germany where he was stationed.

Bill spent his life dedicated to Uintah High Athletics. In his younger years, He worked out with the wrestling team, helping the current athletes gain experience. He Officiated wrestling and football for 25 years. He was the head scorer for the Tournament of Champions for many years until an electronic scoring system was adopted. He ran the chains and down markers at Uintah Varsity Football games for 40 years. In his later years he was at almost all the home volleyball, basketball, football and softball games. He loved sports. He was inducted into the Uintah High School Athletic hall of fame in 2017.
When Bill came back from serving his country he joined his Dad and his brother on the family cattle ranch in Jensen, UT, where he and Betty had Gary in 1966. He raised his family on the ranch. Bill ended up running the Murray Family Cattle ranch which ran 250 head of mother cows and calves for most of his life. They spent many days at the homestead on blue mountain looking over their cattle.

Bill loved following Pennie and Gary as they competed in athletics at Uintah High School. He would not only yell and cheer for Gary and Pennie, but at everyone else also. This continued as he watched his grandkids compete for UHS. In his later years he loved watching his great grandkids compete, especially in wrestling. Bill loved his family and was fiercely defensive of them all.

He found a love of golf in his 40s and was often found playing with the "money bunch." He also loved playing in couple's tournaments with Betty.

Bill was a hard worker and had great expectations of the people around him. There was not many that could keep up with him. He also loved to talk and never met a stranger in his life.

In his later life, Bill found a love for travel. He took his family on many vacations.
Betty passed away in 1998, which truly broke his heart. He has been anxiously awaiting the day when he would get to be with her again.
He loved his dog Squirt and Squirt loved him.

He is survived by his children, Pennie Ann (Mike) Johnson, Gary Dan (Barb) Murray, 7 Grandchildren, Brandon (Chelsea) Johnson, Tessa (Justin) Zufelt, Sara (Luke) Reary, Elizabeth Murray, Whitney (Zack) Blackham, Tyler (Jennifer) Johnson, and Jacob Murray, 13 great grandkids, with one more due in the fall.

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Betty Murray, his parents Lyle Glen and Marinda (Rin) Murray, his twin sister Betty Ann Murray, sister Muriel Peterson, Brothers, Joseph Murray, Dave Murray and Robert Murray.

Funeral services will be held Monday, April 26, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the Ashley 2nd Ward LDS Chapel (3040 North Vernal Avenue). A viewing for family and friends will be held Sunday evening from 6-8pm at the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home and Monday 9:45-10:45am at the Chapel. Interment will be in the Dryfork Cemetery with Military Honors provided by American Legion Post 11.