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Ruth B. (Sheil) Murray 1923 - 2021
Ruth B. (Sheil) Murray

Ruth B. (Sheil) Murray, 97, passed away, Wednesday, December 8, 2021, at the University of Kansas Health Systems – Great Bend Campus, Great Bend, Kansas. She was born on December 22, 1923, in an oil camp in Salt Springs, Wyoming, to Edward and Pauline (Driscoll) Sheil. 

A long-time resident of Great Bend, she did spend some of her childhood on a farm near Cherryvale and later Lyons, Kansas. She graduated from Great Bend High School in 1941. She then attended Salt City Business College in Hutchinson. Paying her way through school by doing various jobs including house cleaning and baby sitting while walking the length of Hutchinson. Finally, she secured a job as a “Harvey House Girl” at the Bisonte Hotel and Restaurant, where she helped serve meals to the troop trains passing through Hutchinson during World War II.

On January 24, 1946, she married John C. Murray, a former B-29 crewmember, who had been stationed at the Great Bend Army Airfield prior to going overseas. In January of 1958, Ruth and John co-founded Murray Casing Crews, Inc., an oilfield service company which still exists after 65 years and three-generations later. She was a charter member and founder of Desk and Derrick, and member St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. 

Having survived the Depression, the Dust Bowl and World War II, she also raised three sons: John “Steve” and wife Jan of Great Bend, Kansas, Thomas “Tom” and wife Jana of Great Bend, and Philip and Linda of Hays, Kansas. They survive. She has four grandchildren: John “Chris” Murray and Brett Murray of Great Bend, Kansas, Derek Murray, Michigan, and Caitlyn Ruth Murray of Casper, Wyoming; one great-grandchild; one sister Nita of Spokane, Washington; numerous nieces and nephews.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband John, an infant daughter that she lost in October 1954: Janice Marie, her parents, sister Teresa Haag, and brothers Michael, James, and John Sheil. 

Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, December 13, 2021, with Altar Society rosary at 4 p.m., and Vigil and rosary at 7 p.m., all at Bryant Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, December 14, 2021, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Great Bend, with Father Aneesh Parappanattu presiding. Interment will be in the Great Bend Cemetery, Great Bend. Memorials are suggested to Holy Family School Endowment Fund, in care of Bryant Funeral Home

Funeral arrangements provided by

Bryant Funeral Home

1425 Patton Road

Great Bend, KS  67530

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Dec. 10, 2021