Frances Jean Smith Murray, 90, a resident of Bogalusa, died in the early hours of Feb. 8, 2021, at New Country Assisted Living Facility in Carriere, Miss. Born in Poplarville, Miss., on Jan. 3, 1931, Mrs. Murray was the widow of Coach Lewis Murray Jr., with whom she shared a happy marriage with for more than 56 years before his passing.
After graduating from Poplarville High School in 1949 she continued her education at Pearl River College in Poplarville. While there, she was a member of the Women’s Basketeers and the Cheer Leaders. In 1950 she and her future spouse were named Mr. and Mrs. PRC. After her marriage to Lewis in 1950, they lived and worked in Poplarville. They moved to Bogalusa in 1960 when Lewis was employed as Head Football Coach at Bogalusa High School.
Fran was a dedicated wife, mother, and homemaker, who also volunteered as a sponsor for the Bogalusa High School Torch Girls Service Club for many years. She dedicated her life to raising her four beloved children, Lewis V. Murray III, Bill Murray, Jan Murray and Mike Murray, as well as spoiling her numerous grand- and great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Lewis V. Murray Jr. (1930-2006); her eldest son, Lewis V. Murray III (1951-2018); her parents, Jesse T. Smith Sr. and Edna Sones Smith; her father and mother-in-law, Lewis V. Murray Sr. and Willie Dandridge Murray; her brother, Jesse T. Smith Jr.; her sister, Georgia S. Morris and husband Joe of Poplarville; her sister, Dorothy S. Smith and husband James of Baton Rouge; her brother, James Byrd Smith and his wife Billie of Poplarville; and her brother-in-law, Graham Pylant of Purvis, Miss.
She is survived by her son, Bill Murray and his wife Lisa; her daughter, Jan Murray and W.W. Davis, and Mike Murray; her daughter-in-law, Debbie McKenzie Murray; her sister, Patsy S. Witsell of Poplarville; her brother, Ben B. Smith and his wife Elaine of Poplarville; her sister-in-law, June P. Smith (widow of Jesse Smith Jr.) of Poplarville; her sister-in-law, Frances Murray Pylant (widow of Graham Pylant) of Purvis; and her 10 grandchildren including Lewis Virgil Murray IV and his wife Elizabeth, Daniel McKenzie Murray and his wife Crystal, and Patrick Grayson Murray and his wife Cara, Nathan William Murray and his wife Savannah, Misty McNabb, Ashley Smith and her husband A.J., D.J. Carlisle and his fiancé’ Rebecca Polkey, Emily Murray, Evan Murray, and Mary White and her husband Dylan. All who survive Fran are comforted today by warm and loving memories of a mother, grandmother, or cherished friend who enjoyed a long and happy life surrounded by people she loved.
A graveside service to celebrate Fran’s life will be held Wednesday, Feb. 10, at Garden of Peace Cemetery in Ponemah Cemetery at 11 a.m. The Rev. Greg Whaley will officiate the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations be made to First Baptist Church of Bogalusa, or Pearl River Community College Development Foundation which can be contacted at P.O. Box 5389, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1183.