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Plaque in Honor of John F. Murray to go up at Playground Named After Him

Murray Playground (Queens Post)

Aug. 2, 2019 By Shane O’Brien

Descendants of John F. Murray, who Murray Playground is named after, will host a memorial service at the Long Island City park Saturday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of his death and the 70th anniversary of the park being named after him.

Nancy Murray, a granddaughter of John Murray, said that the memorial service would be attended by around 40 people at 1 p.m. tomorrow.

The park, which stretches between 11th and 21st Streets, is named after Murray, who was the Queens recreation supervisor for the Parks Dept. in the 1930s and 40s. Murray organized and developed events that took place at parks throughout the borough.

Murray is one of only a handful of Parks Dept. employees to have a park named after him. 

Grandchildren, great grandchildren, and extended cousins are expected to gather to say a few words about Murray, who died in April 1944 at the age of 54.

According to Nancy Murray, the Parks Dept. will be erecting two signs in the park this week that will include a bio about Murray, with one of the signs set to be unveiled in the performance area during the memorial on Saturday.

Murray, who had six children, is survived by 46 grandchildren, along with great grandchildren. According to newspaper reports from the time of his death, he was an extremely popular Queens resident who, outside of his work, regularly organized blood donations and sports events in the area.

Representatives from the Park’s Department and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s office are also set to attend the event.

The park has undergone several redevelopments since it was named after Murray in 1949, and Nancy Murray said that she was proud that it was still named after her grandfather 70 years later.

 

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12 Comments

Jeanne (Nolan) Henderson

My Mom, Alice Murray, told me many stories of her Dad and how much she loved him. Sorry he died so young before meeting so many grandchildren.

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Anonymous

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Parks Department actually maintained the park in a way that would honor Mr. Murray? Instead, the little grass that there is is usually completely overgrown, the “landscaping” around the playground is in terrible condition, and weeds around the trees are rarely removed.

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OAR

Unfortunately there aren’t enough gardeners, but there is nothing stopping any one from volunteering to weed and help maintain the plantings and trees. Everyone wants/expects someone else to do it. Form a friends group and take some ownership of your park.

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Mary Callahan

I WATCHED THE PARK BEING BUILD FROM MY HOUSE ON 11TH STREET ACROSS FROM THE PARK . I ICE SKATED IN THE WADING POOL DURING THE WINTER . MY CHILDREN PLAYED IN THE SAND BOX AND PLAYED ROLLER HOCKEY. GREAT MEMORIES

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DownWithSandBoxes!!!

Sand boxes in ANY public park can go straight to hell. Just a public litter box for stray cats. Also, it just attracts sand flies and other bugs in general. So gross

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Pat O'Rourke

I am Grandpa Johnny Murray’s oldest granddaughter, and one of the two grandchildren of his 48 who he got to see before he died. He has been a legend in our family, with stories of the generosity and energy he gave to the young people in Queens through his work and extra projects. We are all very proud of him and grateful that this playground has been an important community gathering place for years.
Pat O’Rourke, Bainbridge Island, WA

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LIC

William,
I’m interested in John’s Bio. Can you post it? Should have been in the article for context but still interested in reading about his legacy. It’s a great park, especially the sprinkler area in this summer heat.

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Anonymous

William, I’m not so sure that parents of precious children in LIC today would see that as something to brag about, though I think your great grandad sounds like he was an interesting guy!

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