Cover photo for William J. "Bill" Murray's Obituary

William J. "Bill" Murray

March 27, 1951 — May 4, 2024


William J. Murray, 73, of Madison, passed away on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at SSM St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, surrounded  by his loving family.


Bill was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, on March 27, 1951, the first son of James E. and Jeanne C. (O’Neil) Murray. Joining the family were his brother, Thomas John Murray and Margaret Ann Murray.


Bill attended Port Washington High School for two years and graduated from Grafton High School in 1969.  He then attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for two years and graduated with a B.S. in Marketing from Arizona State University, Tempe AZ in 1973.


During his long and successful career in Purchasing, Bill was employed by Scot Pump in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, Babcock & Wilcox in Milwaukee, Parker Pen Company in Janesville and, finally, in 1985 he went to Oscar Mayer and Company in Madison as a Purchasing Agent, where he held several positions, most recently as Director of Procurement until his retirement in 2008.  

Bill was an avid golfer from childhood on and played at many well-known golf courses all over the U.S. with friends and family.  He was also a member of several bowling teams over the years in both Grafton and Madison.


Summit Lake, Wisconsin, where Bill’s family had a summer cottage, was Bill’s happy place. Playing golf with his dad and brother, fishing at Bass Lake, swimming and boating and skiing in the lake and just enjoying the night sky and a cozy bonfire were activities Bill enjoyed and was eager to share with his own children and his five granddaughters.  He was known to family and friends as the guy with the quick comeback; he was possessed of a sly and sarcastic wit and could take a joke as well as he could dish one out.  He was also known for his sweet tooth; there was not a hot fudge sundae nor a slice of chocolate cake that he was not willing to enjoy!


Bill married Tracy (Hoehn) Murray on November 19,1988 in Port Washington, Wisconsin, joining Bill and his two young daughters.  Together Bill and Tracy had two sons and a daughter, making a blended, beautiful family of seven.


Bill’s children and grandchildren were the light of his life.  He enjoyed watching his sons’ baseball, football, basketball and volleyball games and his daughters’ drama and musical pursuits. Nothing gave him more joy than pulling his kids and their friends and, later, his granddaughters around the lake on tubes and skis or just cruising the lake, the wind in their hair.  Their laughter was his music.


He was a strong advocate of higher education and he gave his children all the support, encouragement and assistance he could so they could attain their educational goals.  Bill and Tracy were also part of the community of faith at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Middleton.


Bill was preceded in death by his father, James, and his mother, Jeanne as well as his father-in-law Frank Hoehn and his mother-in-law Barbara Hoehn. He is survived by his wife, Tracy; his children Kathryn (Kevin) Fry,  Auburn, Illinois;  Kelly (Jonathan) Galarneau, Farmington, Minnesota; Ryan (Megan) Murray, Nashville, Tennessee; Kevin (Madeleine Gehred) Murray, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and Susan Murray of Madison;  brother Tom (Lani) Murray, Belgium, Wisconsin and sister Peggy Murray, Troy, Michigan. Bill is further survived by his brother-in-law Scott (Cindy) Hoehn, Charlotte, NC and five granddaughters; Leah, Charlotte and Allison Fry and Genevieve and Isabelle Galarneau; and nieces and nephews.


Bill’s family would like to thank the staff at SSM St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison for their care, patience and support during Bill’s final days.  


A memorial ceremony will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 7337 Hubbard Avenue in Middleton. 


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association, or the Vel Phillips Memorial High School Athletic Department. 


We welcome you to share your memories of Bill here in his guestbook.

Cress Center

6021 University Ave. Madison

(608) 238-8406



To order memorial trees in memory of William J. "Bill" Murray, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Visits: 1702

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors