A MESSAGE FROM THE FAMILY


Ellen’s Blessing to You:
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
and be gracious unto you.
May the Lord look upon you with favor,
and give you peace.
OBITUARY

Ellen Marie Murray

February 26, 1949November 26, 2018
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Ellen Marie (Rue) Murray, Child of God Gift from God February 26, 1949. Gift to God November 26, 2018.

Ellen Marie (Rue) Murray was a beloved daughter of Norman and Ruby Rue, now in heaven; and wife of Mike Murray, mother of Matthew and Melissa Murray, sister of Eileen Reichert, sister-in-law of Bruce Reichert and Chris Murray, niece of Joyce Heater, and niece and cousin of many Rue, Nerison, and LeRud families, beloved Sister in Christ of many congregants of Faith Lutheran Church and Holy Cross Lutheran Church (Salem, Oregon), and dear and respected friend of co-workers at Columbia Lutheran Home, and her social circles at Mothers of Twins Club and Faith Lutheran Church Choir and Women’s Book Group. Her joys and spiritual nourishment were singing and playing piano at church and as Activity Director at Columbia Lutheran Home, digging in her garden, and creating wonderful artful experiences for Sunday school, choir, church and family traditions, and Mothers of Twins club programs.

Her suffering was great. She held hope, and was so grateful for the competent, kind and gracious nurses and doctors that cared for her physical and social needs. Ellen and her family are grateful to Pastor Shannyn and family and friends for their spiritual support.

Her spirit was angelic as she selflessly gave her loved ones the blessing to have “the Lord give YOU peace”.

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Visitation Saturday, December 8, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 8, 2018

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Reception
REMEMBERING

Ellen Marie Murray

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Biography

Celebration of Life for
Ellen Marie (Rue) Murray
Ellen the Musician: On February 26, 1949 the daughters of Ruby and Norman Rue decided there was just not enough room to play, and so emerged into the light, singing with full voice. Ellen Marie came first, and forever after was the boss, organizing events and singing everything from Jesus Loves Me, to the Sound of Music, and Handel’s Messiah. One fine day Norman and Ruby drove their darling 3-year-old girls from their home in Salem to the Oregon Coast, and parked the car in full view of the sand and ocean. Being unencumbered by car seats, those little angels stood up in the back seat, watched the waves, and spontaneously broke into singing,
“Wide, wide as the Ocean, High as the Heavens above;
Deep, deep as the deepest sea, is my Savior’s love;
I, oh so unworthy, still am a child of His care;
For his word teaches me that his love reaches me everywhere!”

That was the debut of the “Rue Girls” singing for church, and family and just for fun. A generous gift from Grandma Olga LeRud, was her old upright player piano which brought years of musical pleasure with piano lessons from 3rd grade through high school. Norman and Ruby delighted in listening to them play piano and sing duets. Ellen used her talents for arranging music for voice and instruments to do songs for High School talent shows. Singing in Church and School choirs she was named Accompanist of the Year in High School. She never dreamed then, that as a professional nursing home Activity Director, this gift of music would make it the best job ever.

Ellen the Educated Wife: Her interest in learning a profession was social work, so in 1967 off she went to the University of Washington to study, and was sighted at a psychology department party by a graduate student named Michael Murray. Being enamored by intellectual conversation, she fell in love, and followed him to his first job as a professor at Brooklyn College, New York where she continued her studies. In 1970 they tied the knot back in Salem with the blessing of family and friends, then flew off to Mike’s next job as an assistant professor at University of Hawaii in Honolulu. In their retirement years Ellen & Mike enjoyed travels to Alaska, England, Scotland, Germany, and Austria. Ellen reveled in magnificent historic buildings with amazing architecture to photograph, down to the door knobs.

Ellen the Activity Director: In Hawaii, Ellen became a receptionist for Dr Fong, whose family she adored and who adored her. She came to love his patients and they loved her. At the same time, she finished her Bachelor of Arts degree.
By 1975 they were back in Seattle where she volunteered at Ravenna Nursing Home. When the Activity Director retired, they gladly awarded the job to Ellen. She thrived on making sure all residents were served with hospitality and found ways to create joy. Although she enjoyed some interim years working close to home at Frank Love Elementary School, she most loved working with elderly folks.
At Columbia Lutheran Home, her final Activity Directorship, she thrived on making beautiful flower arrangements, hosting tea parties, seasonal decorating the home, Christmas parties, and most enjoyed conducting Sing-a-Longs where she could play piano and sing old beloved songs to her heart’s content. She loved to dance with the residents, wheel chair and all, and found that music and movement was a key to happiness. She loved to dress up with her co-workers and do silly skits with music and melodrama. She was always grateful for musicians that would come and volunteer their time and talents to uplift life’s burdens and uncover joy. Families were ever grateful when Ellen gave them photos of their loved one having a good old lively time.

Ellen the Congregant: Ellen found Faith Lutheran in 1975 when Pastor Kent Spaulding was Pastor. She found his sermons thoughtful and profound, and the Choir was just her cup of tea. Receiving a warm welcome from Connie Meyer sealed the deal. From then on, she was sure to welcome visitors, just as she had been welcomed. Ellen became active in Choir, served on Worship & Music Committee, served as Sunday School Superintendent, organized Christmas brunches and Advent Fair Wreath construction. Ellen found friendship and sisterhood with the Faith Book Group. We are so grateful for their support at this time.

Ellen the Mother: In 1978 Ellen and Mike were surprised with two squawking tiny babies who forgot their entrance cue and emerged into the light, 6 weeks early. The experienced Mother of Twins soon arrived and held her new twin grandchildren, Matthew and Melissa, with great pride and joy and a bit of anxiety as these babies were just 4 pounds, and her babies had each been over seven pounds. Well, they grew, and it was a proud day when those toddlers walked down the church aisle on their own two feet.
Those children are now loving adults, devoted to family and the traditions their mother cherished. Being a traditionalist, Ellen gave specific instructions to her family for this Thanksgiving to make the whipped cream with exactly 6 tablespoons of powdered sugar. She always made sure to have all of the Christmas decorations and tree up before her children’s December 13th birthday. Melissa cherishes the thoughtful notes around the house for homecomings, special occasions, and sometimes “just because”.
The best gift that Ellen received in the face of illness, was the news of proposed marriage of Matthew and his sweetheart Marisa, a decades long family friend and daughter of Ellen & Mike’s good friends Marilyn and Dave. Ellen will be their “Mother of the Groom” from her angelic perch in heaven.
Attending Ellen’s last days were dear friends Rena and Sharon from Mothers of Twins Club that was a motherly life-long social circle that gave Ellen joy. She exercised her leadership as Co-Chair of their regional convention in April, themed My Fair Lady, with costumes to flaunt. This annual girls-get-away was a highlight of her year.

Ellen the Family Connector: The growing years were filled with Sunday drives from Salem to the farm & lumber community of Silverton, Oregon where Ruby LeRud and Norman Rue grew up and worshipped at Calvary Lutheran Church. Envision Norman Rockwell. With lots of cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents, it was always a wonderful time to play together and explore the farms. As time went by, it came into Ellen’s hands to figure out all the people in those old photos. Determined to keep her Norwegian heritage alive, Ellen organized annual LeRud family reunions at Silver Falls State Park, Evans Valley School House, and Willamette Mission Park, and the Rue family reunions at the remodeled Rue Farm with the gracious hospitality of cousins Jim & Mignon Rue, and this year at Joel and Donna Rue’s home. She treasured those times and forever reminded cousins to bring family photos to reminisce.
Returning to our grandparents’ homeland is fulfilling. In 2003 Ellen and her Mother, Aunt Joyce, and cousins went to Norway where they were graciously hosted by maternal relatives. Ellen recalls an inspiring moment, when their large group was invited to sing at a community church. Her heart swelled and eyes teared, recounting that inspirational experience.
Channeling her mother’s capable organizational skills, Ellen arranged to continue annual family vacations at The Beach House in Lincoln City, Oregon. There we watched whale spouts, played games, and sang “Wide, Wide as the Ocean” from the deck overlooking beach grass waving in the wind with the sand and surf beyond.
Using Rue family trees created by Uncle Sylvester Rue, and LeRud family trees found by Ruby LeRud Rue, there is documented a Blessed family Tie that Binds our Hearts with Christian Love. The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.
We share our mutual woes; our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.
From sorrow, toil and pain, and sin, we shall be free;
and perfect love and friendship reign, through all eternity.

Ellen Child of God: Prior to her journey to heaven on November 26, 2018, in the midst of pain and suffering, yet ever the person in charge, Ellen acknowledged that she was walking with God and instructed her sister to also do so. She selflessly gave this blessing.
“The Lord bless you and Keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”
She pointed her finger at her sister and emphatically repeated, “and give YOU peace.” Amen. Well done, Child of God. Well done.

Respectfully submitted by Ellen’s sister Eileen (Rue) Reichert

Memorials may be given to Ellen’s favorite organizations near and dear to her heart:
Faith Lutheran Church, 8208 18th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
Columbia Lutheran Home, 4700 Phinney Ave N, Seattle WA 98103 (Resident Activities)