Obituary: McMurray, Shirley Lionel

Shirley Lionel McMurray obit
Shirley Lionel McMurray obit(none)
Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 4:44 PM EDT
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Our loving father, Shirley Lionel McMurray, 96, of Washington, WV was reunited with his faithful wife, Grace Louise McMurray on Friday, October 8, 2021.

He was born January 16, 1925, in Silverton, WV, a son of the late Shirley Virgil and Ollie Minerva Ferrell McMurray.

Lionel, or Mac, as he was known to many, proudly served his country in the South Pacific during WWII. At the age of 19, he joined the 2126th Army Air Force Base Unit. He served as an Aerial Gunner in the 307th Bombardment Group, which operated a B-24 Liberator airplane. He and his fellow crewmen were known as the Long Rangers. He and the Rangers, at that time, flew the longest mission of any bomber ever flown- a 15-hour flight over the South Pacific. In 2020, at the age of 95 with help from a dear friend, Lois Carvell, completed a book about a soldier’s diary of 42 flying missions titled “No Tomorrow” and dedicated it to his wife, children, and grandchildren. Lionel was awarded many medals. Among them were the Presidential Citation and six bronze battle stars. The Bronze Star (BSM) today, is the 4th highest-ranking award a service member can receive for a heroic and meritorious deed performed in an armed conflict- it is a signal of their sacrifice, bravery, and honor. Lionel’s picture was engraved on a memorial monument and can be seen at the Vienna, WV Spencers Landing Park. He was a true American hero.

Lionel worked at Goodyear Manufacturing Blimps and retired from Kaiser Aluminum after 31 years of service in 1987. He enjoyed woodworking, traveling, inventing, and gardening. There wasn’t much that “papaw” didn’t take care of or fix. He is best described as a humble, innovative, dedicated, and loving father/grandfather. He was a member of the United Methodist Church and did many projects and maintenance over the years. His humor, his guidance, and loving presence will be forever missed.

Left to cherish his memory are his children, Stephen Lionel McMurray of Parkersburg, Deborah Lenora (Alan) Krieg of Boaz, Joseph Lee McMurray of Washington, Jane Louise (Russell) Geis of Hurricane; special daughter-in-law, Martha Lynn McMurray of Mineral Wells; sisters, Sarah Elizabeth Hupp of St. Albans, Lulu Catherine Edick of Augusta, GA; grandchildren, Charles Adam (Hannah) Clegg, Miranda Noelle (Bryan) Wilson, Christy (Ryan) Moats, Joshua Lewis (Allison) McMurray, Dakota Lind McMurray, Jacob Tyler Pralley, Jonathan Daniel Geis; step-grandchildren, Victoria Catherine Geis, Catherine Elizabeth (Cole) Salmons, Alisha Dawn Miracle, Jeremy Alan Krieg; great-grandchildren, Tristan Tennant, Clark McHenry, Lily McHenry, Jaxon Haught, Alaina Elise Wilson, Emmett Conrad Clegg; step-grandchildren, Lauren Marie Miracle, Sydney Grace Miracle, Taylor Rayne Miracle, Noah Elizabeth Kern, Abner Cole Salmons; and a very special friend, Martha Clark of Belpre, OH.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his brothers, William McMurray, Ralph McMurray; sister, Myrtle Janet McMurray.

Funeral service will be 1 p.m. Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at Washington United Methodist Church with Rev. Brian Long and Pastor Bob Alford officiating. Burial will follow with full military rights at Ravenswood Cemetery, Ravenswood, WV. Visitation will be 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home in Parkersburg, WV.

An online guestbook for condolences is available at

Sunset Memorial Funeral Home is honored to assist the McMurray family.Copyright 2021 WTAP. All rights reserved.