Stephen Ludlow McMurray, 95, of New Orleans, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 6, 2020. Born on June 30, 1925, to the late George McMurray and Catherine Ludlow McMurray; he was a loving husband for almost 67 years to Kathleen Troxclair McMurray.
Steve was a good, gentle man—patient, kind, understanding, tender, and loving. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, intensely proud of his family. And he was also proud to be a Marine, seeing combat in the Marshall Islands and on Iwo Jima during the Second World War. But he was so much more, a true “Renaissance man” – a talented artist, sculptor, poet, essayist, novelist, short-story writer, dancer, sports fan, carpenter, gardener, and builder of play houses and forts and swing sets, who regularly submitted letters of opinion to the Times Picayune and would talk and tell stories and teach for hours on end, capturing everyone’s attention when he was in a room. He dearly loved to vigorously discuss and debate any topic, including religion and politics, and especially history, but was always ready to share a cocktail even if you disagreed with him. He was a devout Vatican II Catholic, a man of faith and family. He loved sports, especially college football, and was a rabid LSU fan, but at the same time loved music and the arts. He had the most incredible zest for life and enjoyed every day to its fullest.
Except for his service on islands in the Pacific Ocean as a Marine, he never physically traveled outside the United States, but he read about virtually every country in the world. He read voraciously on just about every subject, leaving behind an eclectic collection of hundreds of books. He was a great man, a role model for his children and grandchildren and great-grandchild. All of them know that upon his arrival at the pearly gates, St. Peter undoubtedly said, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!" He will be missed dearly, but our memories of him will last forever.
Following his military service in World War II, Steve went to college in Chicago, taking the famous “City of New Orleans” north to the University of Illinois-Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago, from which he received his BFA degree. After graduation he returned to New Orleans and embarked on a career as a commercial artist, including more than 30 years with Lengsfield Brothers, from which he retired in 1995. After retirement, he continued to draw and paint, and he became an active member of the Marine Corps League and the American Legion.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Clinton McMurray. He is survived by his dear wife, Kathleen Troxclair McMurray; his daughter, Pam Wiltz (Bill) of New Orleans; his son, Shawn McMurray (Ginny) of Little Rock, Arkansas; his daughter, Kim Driscoll (Bryan) of New Orleans; his daughter, Colleen Pinero (Robert) of New Orleans; grandsons: Stephen Guertin of New Orleans, Christopher Driscoll of New Orleans, Matthew Pinero of Covington, Louisiana, Mark Pinero (Taylor) of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Michael McMurray (Kathleen Mowery) of Little Rock, Arkansas; granddaughters: Kathleen McMurray of Little Rock, Arkansas, Kelsey Boucher (Ryan) of Baton Rouge, Margaret McMurray of Atlanta, Gabrielle Wiltz of New Orleans, Maria Pinero of New Orleans, and Madelyn Pinero of New Orleans; and great-grandson, Eildon Wilkinson of New Orleans.
A Funeral Mass will be held at Garden of Memories Funeral Home and Cemetery, 4900 Airline Drive, Metairie, Louisiana at 1:00 pm on Friday, November 13, 2020, followed by military burial there. Visitation will precede the mass beginning at 10:30 am. Memorials may be sent to the World War II Museum, 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130. In compliance with Louisiana guidelines, all attendees must wear masks upon entering.
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