He must increase, But I must decrease. Christ is from above and is above all earthly thngs. John 3:30.
When we think of the passing of Gene, let us think of the words of Jesus that he used when characterizing the passing of his friend, John the Baptist. These characteristics and admirable traits are those that truly measure a man. They are the same traits that ring loud and clear in Gene’s life. (Matthew 11:7-11).
Gene lived a life of integrity and truth. One of self-discipline, self sacrificing and unselfishness. He enjoyed serving others as well as pouring out his generosity to his family members, friends in need and his church. He was a man of deep conviction and stood strong in the things he believed in, especially his faith in God’s love. At the age of seventeen, Gene accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and since that time his knowledge and love for Christ has only deepened. Doing this one thing, put his life on the path that God had planned for him.
Gene was born and raised in Raleigh. He was the son of the late Verlin G. Murray and Edith Bullock Murray. He, along with his brothers and sisters, were raised to appreciate the simple things of life, how to work, how to respect others, no matter their race, and not to expect anything that was not earned. He was a self motivated man and planned early to be successful with his life. He kept his focus on doing what was “right” because he knew that “right” would win in the end. He knew he may struggle along the way, but keeping his “heart’s eyes” on things that are true and just, he would prevail over whatever life places in his path. This is a promise of God’s and Gene embraced this promise.
He was educated in the Raleigh Public Schools, attending Murphy Elementary and was a graduate of Needham B. Broughton High School. As a teen, he worked on the campus of NC State helping in the concession areas at football and basketball games. Little did he know that he was being prepared for bigger things that would put him, as well as his family, in a business that would open doors to a better life for them and others. After graduation from Broughton, he attended Hardbarger’s Business School and Campbell University. With the completion of his studies, Gene took a full-time job with the N.C. Department of Transportation in the Payroll Department. While in this job, he continued his work as much as he could on the NC State Campus doing concessions work. He stayed with NCDOT for thirty years and after retiring from the NCDOT, God opened the door for him to be able to expand his food service business under the name of Capital Concessions. His tireless energy propelled this into full-time work in this area. Joining him in this endeavor, was his very much missed late brother, Henry Murray. Their responsibilities included preparing food items to all events that were housed on the fair ground property. This included the Jim Graham Restaurant Building, Dorton Arena, Jim Holshouser Building, and the Grand Stand area. Events such as the NC State Fair, Horse Shows, Southern Home Shows, Dixie Deere Classic, Ice Hockey, Circus, etc. were events that kept his work extensive. Through all of this, Gene met lifetime friends that came as extended family members. They witnessed his integrity and high work ethics. His reputation grew among his workers, his customers, and his vendors, as a man that could truly be admired. At the request of the late Jim Graham, Gene stayed for 38 years in this service.
In light of who Jesus was, Gene knew who he was. His love for others was genuine. He did not live a life of judging others. He knew that everyone made mistakes and focused on the goodness of the person, encouraging them to live a more worthy life. He did not put people down, didn’t raise his voice in anger, and never used inappropriate language. He was a man that others were proud to call their friend.
As mentioned earlier, Gene grew up in Raleigh. As a youth he and his brothers and sisters attended Tabernacle Baptist Church and for the past 44 years had been a member of Longview Baptist Church. He served on several committees, served as Deacon, taught Sunday School, and supported his church financially as well as in many other ways. He raised his family under the guidance of the church.
Gene is survived by his wife, Janice Faye Boyd, of Winterville, NC, whom he met in the late 50’s. They were married on January 25, 1959. Their children and their spouses, and his grandchildren are:
Daughters: Tanya and her husband, Phillip Suggs, their children, Nicole S. Allen, Shannon, and Caleb. Kristy and her husband Dwaun Humphries, their children Chad Doby and Taylor Humphries, and little Oliver. Son: Gene, II, children Jordan and Jake and his youngest son, Tony and wife Jean, and their children Elizabeth, Allison, and Joshua. He was very proud of each of them and the choices they have made and the way they are living out their lives. His sons-in-law were sons to him and his daughter-in-law was just one more wonderful daughter. His grandchildren were a delight to him and loved to have them in his home as much as he could. His wife is a gift from God and he knew it. She rivals the Proverbs 31 wife and mother. Gene said that after God sent His Son to the world, He sent Janice to him. There are many that will agree with this.
Gene is also survived by his brother, William V. (Billy) Murray and wife Barbara, their children, Ricky and Connie Murray and family, Debbie Murray. Chris and Shannon Murray and family, and Dr. Randy and Michelle Murray and family. Sister Joan and her husband, Jimmy Thompson of Durham and their children, Joni and Jim Pierce and family of Apex, Jan Thompson, a missionary in Belgium, and nephews Jim Thompson and Jeff Thompson of Durham and another sister and her husband, Carolyn and Ronnie Reitz, their daughter, Edie and husband Bob Rhyne and family and son, Beau Reitz and family. Wonderful additional family members are Ruth Murray, beloved step mother; the families of brothers, VG Murray and wife, Jane; Sammy Murray wife, Rosa; Lora Green and husband, Bobby.
At Gene’s request, in lieu of flowers please consider a donation to The Family Life and Fellowship Center at Longview Baptist Church located at 2038 New Hope Road, Raleigh, NC 27604. There will be a celebration of Gene’s life at Longview Baptist Church on Saturday, December 17th. The family will receive guest from 12:00 noon until 1:30 PM at the church with the service starting at 2:00 PM. Entombment will be at Oakwood Cemetery Mausoleum immediately following the service. Due to the size of the mausoleum, seating will be limited, but feel free to attend.
Condolences to the family may be made at www.poolefuneral .com under obituaries.