OBITUARY ~ MURRAY RANDALL MUNYON
1938 ~ 2012
Murray Randall MUNYON was born on Father's Day, June 19, 1938, in Ellston, Iowa, to Carrol "Slim" MUNYON and Allie FENTON
MUNYON. Murray was the only son and was responsible for the farm work at an early age since his father was often away
working on road and bridge-building crews. He began his education in a one-room school where he discovered one of the
great loves of his life: books. By second grade he had read everything they had including classic books like his favorite,
Swiss Family Robinson, and had started reading the encyclopedias and dictionaries. His teacher recognized and fostered his
intelligence by supplementing the curriculum with any books she could find.
Murray completed most of his schooling at
Ellston, but graduated from Granger, IA where the family lived for a short time before moving back to the family farm near
Ellston. If he had been able to go to college, Murray often said he would have been an English professor. Instead he
worked on a road crew for a year and decided to join the Air Force, breaking a record by scoring the highest score ever
recorded at that time on the Air Force entrance exam. His need for glasses kept him from being a pilot, but he learned
the painting trade, painting the hangars and structures on the base. He was stationed at Colorado Springs and San Antonio
before coming Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base in Burns Flat, Oklahoma. While there, Murray met the other great love of his
life, Norlyn "Joyce" PANKRATZ, and never left Oklahoma.
He and Joyce were married on November 1, 1959, and enjoyed
fifty-two wonderful years together. Murray worked at the base for several years after his discharge from the Air Force
before starting his own business, the first of many in Elk City, Oklahoma. He also worked at the Post Office while
running his construction and painting businesses on the side until he quit to work in the construction business full time.
At one point, Murray owned sixteen construction-related businesses stretching all across western Oklahoma. Joyce served
as his head bookkeeper and partner.
After the bank failures and economic downturns in the 80's caused him to close his
businesses, they moved to Yukon, Oklahoma, where he had a successful painting business. Murray courageously survived
esophageal cancer when all the odds were against him and went on to live for thirteen more years. When his brother-in-law
died unexpectedly, Murray took over managing his rental property business as well as working on a number of other business
ventures, eventually settling in Mustang, OK to live next door to his daughter's family.
Murray was a familiar sight around Mustang and Yukon as he often traveled with his beloved dog, Hunter, sitting in the
pickup beside him as they made their rounds. He loved to joke and always had a grin and a twinkle in his eye. Basketball
was Murray's favorite sport as he played while in high school and in the Air Force, and he was an ardent fan of the OU
Sooners and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Murray is survived by his wife, Joyce MUNYON, daughter Cheryl Munyon ROWE, son-in
law Dennis ROWE, granddaughters Rachel and Sara ROWE, all of Mustang, Oklahoma; son Mike MUNYON of Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma; sisters Peggy MUNYON of Littleton , Colorado, and Shirley HUFF of Osceola, Iowa; seven nieces and nephews,
and his devoted dog Hunter.
He was preceded in death by his sister and brother-in-law Phyllis and Larry PAGE, and his
parents, Carrol and Allie MUNYON.
Murray was proud of his status as an Air Force Veteran and will be interred at Fort
Sill National Military Cemetery at Elgin, Oklahoma.
In lieu of flowers, please donate a book to your local school or
library in his memory.
Murray shared his love of literacy and knowledge with many, including his daughter, who is a
reading teacher, and his granddaughters who are majoring in education and English. Murray was reading right up to the
moment he left his home for the last time and was never without a book at hand.
This chapter of Murray's life has ended
and now he has turned the page to his next great adventure.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, November of 2012
To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.
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