Obituary of Thomas E. Murray, Jr.
Thomas E. Murray Jr., loving husband of Florence (Wagner) Murray of Burlington passed away on Monday morning, October 1, 2018 at the age of 79. Tom was born and raised in Burlington. He went to St. Charles Elementary School and then was a 1959 graduate of Burlington High School. He grew up working for his uncle, Ted Murray, at Murray Hills Real Estate where he learned, at a young age the importance of a strong work ethic and the understanding of risk vs reward. He worked at Brodie Inc in Woburn where he became a Master Mechanic, a skill that would carry him through his love for cars and trucks. He then became a member of the Burlington Fire Department. He would work nights at the Fire Department and days as a contractor; starting his own business, B&T Construction. He and his business partners did much of the residential hook ups and conversions from septic to sewer. It didn’t take long for Tom to realize that he needed to make a choice on his future career path. So, he gave up his firefighter position and went fulltime in the contracting business. His real estate development touched much of Burlington and its surrounding communities as well as in Westminster, and New Hampshire. Tom acted as a general contractor, but didn’t hesitate to hop on a piece of equipment to do the excavation or site preparation. He didn’t shy away from hard work and putting it all on the line financially to start and finance a new project or subdivision was not unusual. He built over 200 homes in Burlington alone during his career.
His father, Thomas, was Burlington’s Police Chief and Highway Superintendent and the Murray family has developed many of the neighborhoods in the community. His family has been an important part of Burlington’s growth and history over the last 100 years and he continued that tradition. Throughout his life he was an active member of the Burlington Round Table, Town Meeting, American Legion Post 273, and the Knights of Columbus. He was a role model and well respected by many.
Tom often joked that he lived by the mantra, “Work Hard, Play Hard!” and he did both very well. Tom was a man who embraced life and time spent with his family. Tom always placed his family first. When his children were growing up, summers were spent in Tamworth, NH and on the water’s edge of Lake Winnipesaukee. He taught his children boating, water skiing, snow skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, and so many other fun and memorable sports and activities that they shared as a family and continue to share with the grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was always available to lend a helping hand, offer some wisdom, or just enjoy each other’s company. For his children and grandchildren, Tom was a strong role model, who managed to balance his work, family, and passions effortlessly.
Tom’s love for automobiles has been a lifelong passion. From an early age, he loved to work on, and play with, anything that had an engine. Not only was he a car collector, but he was a car preservationist. He started his collection with a 1913 Ford Model T. He would upgrade to the 1914 because you didn’t have to crank the engine to start the car. Over the years his collection would continually change and grow. He would take a collector car and do a complete frame off restoration in his garage. Those projects, sometimes took years to finish, but were almost perfect when complete. Fords from the 1950’s were always his favorite. He restored numerous Model Ts, Model As, and Thunderbirds over the years. He also could repair and rebuild commercial trucks and tractors as well. He entered his cars in shows all over the country and won many “Best in Class” and “Best in Show” Trophies. His pride and joy was his 99 point trailer queen 1957 Ford Thunderbird. He lost 1 point for a wrinkle in the carpet! Many a family vacation revolved around the car show events in MA, NH, VT, PA, and OH.
Tom was the beloved husband of 57 years of Florence (Wagner). He was the son of the late Thomas and Jessica Murray. He was the loving father of Thomas III & his wife Laura of Burlington, Mark & his wife Sue of Dracut, Ted & his wife Stacy of Dunstable, and Maureen Wall & her husband Ed of Woburn. He was the supportive and loving brother of Sheila Murphy, Robert, Richard, Anne, Michael, & Joseph Murray all of Burlington, Daniel of Woburn, the late Carol McDonough and Susan Poirier. Tom was the proud Grampy to Danielle, Jessica, Mark, Kylie & Ted Murray Jr., Kathlene & Amanda Gullage, and Hailey, Sheighla & Aleigh Wall. He was also survived by 9 Great grandchildren.
Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (exit 34 off Rt. 128/95, Woburn side) on Thursday, Oct. 4 from 4-8 p.m. Funeral from the Sullivan Funeral Home on Friday, Oct. 5 at 10:45 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Charles Church, 280 Main St., Woburn at Noon. Services will conclude with a burial in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Tom’s name may be made to the David K. Johnson Foundation (Supporting a Cure for Alzheimer’s & Helping Families Affected) P.O. Box 617, Reading, MA 01867 or www.DKJfoundation.org For directions obituary & online guestbook see www.sccwoburn.com or www.sullivanfuneralhome.net
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050