Julia Viola Cranor Murray passed away on April 22, 2023, at her residence in Norman, Oklahoma. She was 93 years old. Julia was born March 27, 1930, to Jackson Walter and Isabella May Cranor on a farm outside Bartlesville, Oklahoma, near the Fish Creek community. Here, she attended school and learned the value of hard work. During World War II, Julia and her sisters proudly served on the Homefront by assuming the responsibilities of operating the family dairy farm while also attending school during their brothers’ absence. That experience made her a lifelong learner who valued education, service to others, and devotion to God.
She married Jack M. Murray in January 1956. Together, they built their first house from the ground up near Barnsdall, Oklahoma, and started their family. They moved to Lindsay, Oklahoma, in 1966.
From the time her children were born, she instilled in them the importance of a college education. She squirreled away extra money from selling cattle, surplus hay, and gift money into their college savings accounts. To her great credit, all of her children graduated from college.
Julia faithfully supported the projects and educational opportunities offered to her community through the OSU Extension service. In addition, she was an active Erin Springs Oklahoma Home and Community Education group member, serving in various leadership roles at the local, county, and state levels. Julia was a gifted seamstress who was among the best in the state. Additionally, she was a 4-H leader and worked tirelessly to prepare the youth in her community for their future roles as community leaders and capable adults.
She was a member of the United Methodist Church in Lindsay, Oklahoma. There she taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, served on the Administrative Board, Pastor/Parrish Relations Committee, Education Committee, and Board of Trustees. She looked forward to the church’s annual Christmas Bazaar and boosted their sales with handmade holiday gifts and baked goods, most notably her Lemon Meringue Pie. She moved to Norman in 2015 and attended McFarlin United Methodist Church.
Her husband, Jack M. Murray, parents, Jackson and May Cranor, and her eleven brothers and sisters preceded her in death. She is survived by her daughter, Jeanne Salmon; sons, Jack R. Murray and Jeff Murray; grandson John Salmon; granddaughter Elaina Murray; great-grandchildren, Emily and Mark Salmon; and a host of friends who had become family.
Later this spring, an inurnment service will take place at the Ethel Briggs Cemetery in Barnsdall, Oklahoma.
Services are under the direction of Scott and Angel Wilbourn Family Funeral Home in Lindsay, Oklahoma. Condolences may be made to the family online at www.wilbournfamilyfuneralhome.com