Joan S. Murray, age 83, of Bark River, passed away Tuesday afternoon, April 20, 2021 at her home. She was born on October 16, 1937 in Escanaba, the daughter of Chester and Charlotte (Nygaard) Severinsen. Joan was raised and attended school in Escanaba and was a 1955 graduate of Escanaba High School. Following graduation, Joan was employed by Delta County Schools as a secretary to the superintendent from 1955 until 1957. She then went on to work for the Michigan Bell Business Office from 1957 until 1961. The former Joan Severinsen married Lawrence “Larry” Murray on October 8, 1960 in Spalding, MI. Together, the couple shared 60 years of wonderful marriage. While raising their children, Joan was a proud homemaker and cared for her family. In 1970, she worked for Bark River Harris Schools as an aide until 1973, and lastly, Public Service Credit Union from 1981 until her retirement. Joan was a longtime member of First Presbyterian Church in Escanaba where she served as a Deacon, member of the church choir, was involved with decorating, and the Hannah’s Circle at church. She was Queen Mom of the Tin Lizzie Red Hatters of Escanaba and a member of the Classie Lassies Red Hatters of Bark River. Joan was a charter member of the U.P. Vintage Tin Car Club and held all offices at one time or another. She also served as a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts. In 1971, Joan was involved in helping with the Bark River Centennial in putting the historical book together. Joan enjoyed camping during the summer months and going to Green Bay during hunting season with her sister and nieces for a little getaway. She loved her grandchildren dearly and always attended their baseball and football games, Christmas programs, and band concerts. Joan was known for her everlasting love for everyone.
Joan S. Murray is survived by her husband, Larry Murray of Bark River; two sons, Tim (Shelli) Murray of Escanaba, and Tom Murray of Bark River; 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; sister, Carol Marenger of Gladstone; son-in-law, Mike MacFarlane of Gladstone; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, Joan was preceded in death by her daughter, Sherry MacFarlane on March 19, 2020; daughter-in-law, Marian Murray on February 9, 2021; and sister, Nancy Laundre.
Visitation will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday, April 26, 2021 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba. Funeral services celebrating the life of Joan will follow at 2:00 p.m., Monday, at the First Presbyterian Church in Escanaba with Rev. Janice L. Reed officiating. Burial will take place following the services in the Gardens of Rest Cemetery.
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