George Murray, a longtime resident of Westbrook who was a mill worker for S.D. Warren Co., died Saturday. He was 86.

Mr. Murray was remembered Monday by his wife of 58 years, Beverly Murray, as outgoing.

“He made friends quickly, easily,” she said.

The couple met while she was teaching school and Mr. Murray was working with her uncle.

Mr. Murray saw Beverly with her uncle at the movies one evening, and decided that he wanted to go out with her.

“At the time, teachers got free tickets to basketball games,” she said, so she had tickets to a tournament that Mr. Murray had been talking about with her uncle.

“He wanted to have a date with me and I had the tickets, too,” she said, joking that he may have wanted to go out with her because of the tickets.

During World War II, Mr. Murray served in Europe as part of Company C of the 168th Engineer Combat Battalion.

While serving during the Battle of the Bulge, Mr. Murray and the battalion were decorated for the defense of St. Vith.

After working for S.D. Warren, Mr. Murray left to pursue various other positions.

“He was a man of many hats,” his wife said.

He volunteered for the Westbrook Fire Department, worked briefly at a filling station, then worked for Oakhurst Dairy and delivered fuel for an oil company.

“He loved the jobs, but not the pay,” she said, because none of the positions could compete with his wages as a mill worker.

Mr. Murray returned to S.D. Warren and worked at the mill for more than 30 years before retiring.

The couple raised three sons, Jason, Michael and Christopher, all of whom still live in the area.

“He was proud of his three boys,” his wife said.

“He loved baseball,” she added. “His love of baseball was passed on to his sons.”

When Mr. Murray was just out of school, he played baseball in the Twilight League with other young men.

Then, when his sons were young, he coached the sport.

“He worked in the mill and worked shift work, but somehow he made it all happen,” said Christopher Murray. “We got to all the games we needed to get to and got to the practices.”

His father’s work as a coach was a testament to how much Mr. Murray cared to be involved in his sons’ lives, he said.

“He was always there at the fence, watching us practice,” he said.

Having Mr. Murray there for practices and games “came natural to us,” his son said, “because he wanted to do it. We didn’t think of it any other way.”

 

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at: [email protected]