Wednesday, July 15, 2015
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
7 PM Divine Mercy
Thursday, July 16, 2015
10:00 AM EDT
St. Augustine Cathedral
542 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Following the mass, food and fellowship will be shared in the Cathedral Center.
Burial at Ft. Custer National Cemetery 1:00 PM.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Ever loving and kind, Murray Maurer added much to the lives around him through his charismatic flair and prayerful ways. When it came to making things happen, Murray had vision, and could easily execute details, and loved every minute of it. By far his greatest blessing was the love of family whom he cherished, and the love he leaves behind will remain forevermore.
Born on February 25, 1935 in the bustling city of Detroit, Michigan, Murray Thomas Maurer was the only child of Clarence and Anne (Turnball) Maurer. Raised in Owosso, Michigan, Murray enjoyed a childhood typical of his generation. His father worked as a civil engineer while his mother worked as a secretary. He also found his share of shenanigans. He always liked talking about the time he got into trouble when he and his friends picked up a VW bug and put it on the front porch on Halloween. Although Murray liked to think he had been a rebel, it was far from the truth!
After graduating from Owosso High School in 1953, Murray’s mother gave him an ultimatum. He could either get a job, or enlist. For the following five years, Murray served in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Vermont. He extended his enlistment by 6 months to have the opportunity to be stationed in Hawaii. Murray so loved Hawaii and its beautiful surroundings. He later came to speak of his time there, and planned on a return trip one day.
Murray attended Flint Junior College before transferring to Central Michigan University where he received his teaching degree in history. Murray’s life dramatically changed when he met the young woman of his dreams, Pauline Spaniola. Murray knew Pauline’s cousin who helped introduce him to her. With the traumatic killing of President John F. Kennedy, Murray and Pauline turned to one another and watched the President’s funeral on campus. After striking up a conversation, they began dating which in time came to include love.
Murray and Pauline both went on to graduate from CMU, and on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1965, they were happily married. Following their wedding in Swartz Creek at St. Mary’s Queen of Angels, they enjoyed a memorable honeymoon in Chicago for the long holiday weekend. Murray was attending Michigan State University at the time where he went on to attain his Master’s in Administration. With his Masters in hand, Murray and Pauline moved to Big Rapids for several years where Murray got a job at Ferris College while Pauline taught mathematics at a local high school.
When the new Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Murray landed a position there working as the first registrar. They made their forever home in Kalamazoo, happily raising their four children there, Catherine, Terresa, Jeff, and Mark. For over 30 years, Murray worked in various positions at the college. He loved the theater, and was instrumental in forming the “Ninth Street Players”, and produced stage productions. At one time he was Director of Student Activities at the school.
Murray and Pauline raised their family in faith, and together prayed often. Ten years after they were married, Murray converted to Catholicism and help teach Sunday school at the St. Augustine Cathedral where they were members. Murray was also a part of the Good Shepherd Prayer Group through church, and later as a member of the Community of the Lord’s People, the charismatic prayer group at church.
Family was the very heart of Murray’s life. Through the years they shared numerous memories during the holidays, and took camping trips each summer to Yankee Springs and Higgins Lake where they especially enjoyed canoeing. He loved his family dearly and treasured times spent with his children and grandchildren, but having been an only child, it sometimes overwhelmed him. Even so, Murray was always up for family time which brought him the greatest joy.
Murray was an avid reader of nearly anything. He spent quiet time reading the newspaper, and had piles of them. He particularly enjoyed reading about history and the Civil War, all while possessing a great memory for the things he read. He also loved flowers, and enjoyed the process in his love for telling a good story. Always a great storyteller, he often shared how he watched Magic Johnson play ball while at MSU. Murray’s dream of returning to Hawaii was realized when he and Pauline celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary there as a surprise gift from their children.
Through the years, Murray kept active and involved. As part of the Walking Prayer Pilgrimage in the summer of 1989, he helped walk and coordinate the route through the Kalamazoo Diocese. His most recent involvement with a prayer group included Servants of the Lord Jesus. He also liked organizing things and was wonderful in displaying his skills behind the scenes through to fruition. Murray could make things happen and even put on simple plays with his family. He was extremely detail oriented, and could get very obsessive and compulsive about anything he was working on.
One of Murray’s favorite things to say was, “I was dragged kicking and screaming into the adult world". He loved the excitement of fireworks and parades, and ceremonies of every kind. Watching races were just as thrilling to him, and simply participating in the pageantry gave Murray much happiness. He loved attending these types of fanfare and celebrations. Murray was one to also appreciate the majesty of a beautiful sunset, the intricate beauty of a flower, or the sweet surrender of bended knee in prayer.
For the last eight years, Murray enjoyed being with his family every year in South Haven where they rented a house. All of his kids and grandchildren gathered for fun-filled times enjoying cookouts, water activities, restful respite, and enjoying family togetherness. Although Murray suffered an aneurysm while there several days ago and was never to recover, his family can find peace knowing he was surrounded by those he loved, enjoying what he loved best. Deeply missed, Murray leaves behind a legacy of faith and commitment never to be forgotten.
At the age of 80, Murray Thomas Maurer died on Monday, July 13, 2015 in Kalamazoo. Members of his family include his wife of 50 years, Pauline Maurer; four children: Catherine (Marty) Terbrack, Terresa (Scott) Uzzle, Jeff Maurer and Mark Maurer; ten grandchildren: Caleb, Sarah, Hannah, Joseph, Jacob, Isaac, Marcus, Ashlyn, Clare, and Ella. Visit with family and friends while sharing refreshments on Wednesday from 5–8 PM at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo 375-2900. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday, 10:00 AM at St. Augustine Cathedral. A luncheon will be held in the Cathedral Center followed by burial at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Murray’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to the All Michigan Catholic Charismatic Conference.