Gerald (Jerry) Francis Murray, 78, of Oak Park, died on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The fourth child of six siblings, born to James and Rose Murray of Chicago, on Oct. 15, 1942, he graduated from DeLaSalle High School in 1960. He went on to Chicago State University (Chicago Teachers College) and spent a year and a half as an elementary school teacher with Chicago Public Schools, then joined VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) where he worked with local community organizations in California.
Upon returning to Chicago, he taught at Providence-St. Mel High School in Chicago for two years before entering Loyola University School of Law. He practiced law for 40 years, focusing on insurance law and adoption law.
Elaine and Jerry were united in marriage on Aug. 30, 1969 and moved to Oak Park in 1972, where they lived for nearly 50 years. A pillar of the community, he served as a liaison for many public service organizations. He volunteered at the Oak Park Food Bank and Housing Forward (formerly known as PADS). In the late ’80s and early ’90s, he was a critical part of bringing pro bono law services to individuals and families in Oak Park and was a prodigious volunteer for the Democratic Party of Oak Park (DPOP), which recently named him Volunteer of the Year. Every summer Saturday morning, you could find him at Oak Park Farmers Market in a multitude of volunteer roles, including voter registration, climate change action, and upcoming elections. And he never forgot to bring home blueberries and donuts to Elaine.
Outside of community activism, his passion was for nature and conservation. He spent countless hours on Sierra Club trips and volunteering on behalf of protecting the environment.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Elaine; his son, Joseph (Jenny), and daughter, Norah (Daniel); his seven grandsons, Connor, Devon, Dylan, Michael, Derek, Owen and Francis; his siblings, Tom (Judy), Jim (Ann), Rosemary, and Bob (Linda); his sister-in-law June; and dozens of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Jack.
Visitation was held April 12 at Yurs Funeral Home in Geneva.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club on behalf of Jerry Murray, https://www.sierraclub.org/illinois/get-involved/donate.