Murphy Funeral Homes

In lieu of flowers, donations to Rachel's Women's Center (Washington, D.C.), The House of Ruth (Washington, D.C.), Parkinson's Foundation of the National Capital Area, the Prostate Cancer Foundation o...

Dolores Holleran Murray

February 5, 1931January 3, 2021

Dolores Holleran Murray (age 89) beloved mother of Marea, Jock, and Justin and grandson Ryan Murray, passed away on January 3, 2021 in Arlington, VA.

She was born in Manchester, NH on February 5, 1931 and earned a BA in Political Science at the University of New Hampshire in 1952. Later that year, she moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue graduate studies at Georgetown University. During her studies she began a career with the Central Intelligence Agency, first as an analyst and then as an operations officer serving in the then Belgian Congo in the late 1950s. She met her husband, John C. Murray, also an intelligence officer, through her work with CIA. After the two were married in 1959, she left the agency and accompanied her husband and young family during his assignments to the Sudan and Zambia. The family returned to the United States and settled in Arlington, VA in 1966.

After caring for and losing her husband to cancer in 1979, she worked a variety of public interest jobs in the DC area. She took an active interest in politics and worked for a variety of Democratic campaigns. Dolores is also survived by her sisters Connie Holleran and Denise Holleran Pruitt, brother Martin Peter Holleran, and cousins in the Durning, Wright, and Bowen families. There will be a memorial service later this year.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Rachel's Women's Center (Washington, D.C.), The House of Ruth (Washington, D.C.), Parkinson's Foundation of the National Capital Area, the Prostate Cancer Foundation or a favorite charity are requested.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Dolores Holleran Murray

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Richard Engel

January 12, 2021

Dear Justin,

Kit and I want to express our condolences on the death of your mother. We read her obituary in the Washington Post. She was truly a strong and talented person who lived a very full life. Our thoughts are with you and your family.


Jim Monke

January 11, 2021

Dear Justin and family,
I didn't know your mother, but she sounds like an amazing person. What a wonderful career she had; she was a pioneer for professional women. She brought those joys and experiences to raising her family, who have continued her path in public service. You have my heartfelt condolences as you remember her life.

Kristen Whitney

January 11, 2021

Dear Justin, It is so hard to lose a parent but it seems especially cruel right now. I well remember your mom working for a stint in the Inquiry Section (as it was known back in those days) of the Congressional Research Service. She sat in the work station across from mine and it was a pleasure to work with her. She had a lovely telephone voice and composed elegant, well-written requests. She got along well with everyone, which is no small feat in any office, and hopefully enjoyed her brief time with us.

These last 10 months have been extremely difficult for everyone and you and your family have my deepest sympathy for suffering such loss at this time.

Peter Hunter

January 10, 2021

Justin and Jock (and Marea, whom I haven't met), your mother was a great person. Since I knew her mainly in my teenage years, I naturally saw her as an imposing force who could make Justin rake the yard or help with other chores around the house. I never wanted to get on her wrong side. At the same time, however, she always treated even a teenager like myself with graciousness and respect, undeserved though it may have been. The time together with her was precious. My sympathies to you and your family on your loss.

Aaron Simpson

January 10, 2021

I went to UNH with Jock and after college I got a job working on the hill. I arrived in DC not knowing anyone but Jock and Justin. Delores welcomed me into her home until I could find a place of my own. It has been many years since I last saw her but I often remember how she welcomed me into her home. I was glad to have a chance to get to know this remarkable woman. The world is less bright, but the night sky has a new star looking down upon us. My thoughts are with her family.

Marea Murray

January 10, 2021

I’m dismayed the surviving siblings of my mother’s were deleted here. Connie, Denise Holleran Pruitt & Pete all grew up in Manchester and relatives in town include the Durning & Bowen clan. Thanks to all for your condolences.

Gregg Esenwein

January 9, 2021

So sorry to hear about the loss of your Mother. She must have been an amazing person. Elise and I send our condolences. We will be thinking about you and your family. Hang in there my friend.


ann malloy

January 9, 2021

Dear Justin,
I read this obit in the Post, but didn't realize it was your mother. I am so sorry for you and your family. I spoke with her once about travel to Ireland and found that she was full of information that was so helpful. You are a lucky man to have had such wonderful mother. Please accept my condolences. Ann

Michael Koempel

January 9, 2021

My deepest sympathy to Justin and all of his family. May you find consolation in your mother’s long life. My siblings and I were able to start with that thought when our mother died, also at the age of 89. May your mother rest in peace and may you find consolation.

Justin Murray

January 9, 2021

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