Jerry Travis Murray – 52

Jerry Travis Murray, age 52, of Decatur, Ga., died February 27, 2020.

Born on August 14, 1967 in Baxley, Ga., he was the youngest of three boys.  Jerry was married to Erin Brewer Murray, a high school friend with whom he reconnected and married in 2013 after 28 years apart. They shared a forever love.

He was a resident of Surrency, Ga for most of his life, attending Appling County Comprehensive High School.  In his youth, he served onboard the USS Eisenhower in the U.S. Navy. Jerry worked at the family business Murray Forestry until he became owner of Trinity Lumber Company. After selling his company in 2015 to his nephew Brandon, he moved to Decatur, Ga and worked at Superior Rigging and Erecting Company along with his IUOE local 926 brothers. Jerry was excited to assist in the construction of Mercedes Benz Stadium, Truist Park, The Nature Gallery at Fernbank Museum, as well as the Toy Story and Avatar attractions at Disney World.

Jerry was well known for his smile, his sense of humor and his love for people.  He was always ready with a story to share and always ready to hear a new (or old) one. He aspired to live his life as described by the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Jerry offered support and encouragement for others in their sobriety.  He was a member of the Southeastern Wood Producers Association, the SGTPA, AKC Coonhounds Group, and was a recreational youth football coach.

Jerry adored the Georgia Bulldogs, attending games, watching them on television and collecting memorabilia. He enjoyed saltwater boating and fishing and especially loved visiting Mexico Beach, Florida and Lake Eufala, Alabama.

He is survived by his wife Erin; sons Matthew (Ryan), 35, Brock, 27, Jamie, 23, Houston, 23, and Austin (Bianca), 23; his father J.W. Murray and wife Merle Murray; his mother Sara Jane Cooper and husband Jack Cooper; brothers Jerome (Joni), Jesse (Allison), Del (Deborah) Ferguson, and Rev. Joe (Lanette) Ferguson; grandchildren Riley, Carter, T.J., Johnsie, and Alex; nieces Briana, Jade and Jaylen; nephews Brandon and Lott;  and two great-nieces and two great-nephews. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Adele “Pink” Murray Browning, Otis Eston Murray, Gordon Carter and Zettie Mae Stone.

He had a special place in his heart for Kirby, his Cavapoo puppy companion, who brought him much joy, love, and laughter in his last year.

Visitation will be Saturday evening February 29, 2020 at Swain Funeral Home in Baxley, Ga, from 6 to 8 pm. Funeral services will be held Sunday, March 1at 2 pm at Christ Community Church, 1585 Hatch Parkway North, Baxley, Ga. Interment will follow at Omega Cemetery, Hatch Parkway North, in Baxley.

Pallbearers will be Brandon Murray, Chris Murray, Larry Wilcox, Jeffery Murray, Michael Crosby, Gary Gotlieb, Greg Murray, Ellis Williams, and William Castano.  Leading the procession will be Lott and Kirby Murray.

Honorary pallbearers include his IUOE local 926 brothers, Dr. Akce and the staff of Emory Oncology and Infusion, the staff of Amity Hospice, the staff and friends of the Emory-Decatur Hospital NICU, Murray Forestry employees, Murray Oil Employees, the 1987 class of Appling County Comprehensive High School, and all family and friends in attendance.

Family and friends will assemble at the home of J.W. and Merle Murray at 285 Magnolia Drive, Baxley, Ga.

Jerry and Erin deeply appreciated the loving and excellent end of life care given to Jerry by Madison Clark, CNA, Mireille Oya, CNA, Chaplin Fredrick Caldwell, and Amity Care Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Jerry’s honor may be made to the Emory-Decatur Hospital NICU via the DeKalb Medical Foundation or the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Swain Funeral Home in Baxley, Ga.