“A sailor never dies, he just sails away.” Born in Penticton on September 30, 1927, Robert Goodfellow Murray sailed away on September 12, 2019, two weeks shy of his ninety-second birthday.
At seventeen years of age, Robert joined the Merchant Navy and spent nine months in the Atlantic Theatre of World War II. This was the start of a twenty-five-year military career that saw him in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Airforce.
Marrying the love of his life, Vera Bogyo, in 1949, they had a beautiful family and traveled the world.
Robert is survived by his four daughters, Gail Murray of Port Moody, Lynn (Dwight) Redmond of Penticton, Nancy (Blaine) Gaffney of Kelowna, and Peggy (Bruce) Murray of Taiwan.
After retiring from military service, Robert returned to Penticton and became the recreation director for the new retirement center. Ten years’ later, Robert retired for a second time and proceeded to follow his passion for the arts. Since 1981, Robert has made thousands of kiln-fired clay sculptures, many of which have featured in the Penticton Museum, and one of which ended up on CBC in an interview with Wayne Gretzky himself. In his most recent years, Robert took care of his ailing wife, who succumbed to dementia in 2014. Since Vera’s passing, Robert could be seen around town, walking or scootering; he loved to talk and would spend time chatting with anyone he could. If he was in the house and visiting, he was always playing crib, a game he loved playing with his seven grandchildren. Playing crib gave him the opportunity to share his military services stories over the twang of his favorite Willie Nelson songs.
The last few years of his life were brightened with the love and connections he built with his nine great grandchildren; he would come alive around them and made sure they knew how much he loved them. May the next voyage be as fulfilling as this one for this ol’ sailor. We love you and will miss you.