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.