Frances Murray

Frances Murray (BALTIMORE SUN / December 6, 2011)

Frances A. Murray, a Red Cross worker who served overseas during World War II, died at the Blakehurst retirement community Nov. 28 of complications from a fall. She was 92 and had lived in Baltimore County's Woodbrook area.

Born Frances Jane Abbott in Grandfield, Okla., she was the daughter of farmers whose forebears were early settlers of what was then a territory. She earned a degree at North Texas State Teachers College, where she played basketball on a championship team. She joined the American Red Cross in 1943 and was sent to England aboard the Queen Mary. Family members said she was one of 10 women aboard the vessel, which was carrying thousands of troops.

Assigned to an air base near Dover, England, she ran the Aero Club for pilots and mechanics. In a memoir, she said, "We watch them [the pilots] take off in the early morning, and all during the day as we go about our work, we have a silent prayer in our hearts that they will return safely in the afternoon."

She later served in France and witnessed the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

After the war she moved to Baltimore and became a Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks rec leader. In 1953, she married Edward Emerson Murray, a relative of the inventor of Bromo Seltzer.

She lived for many years on Meadow Road. She belonged to the Woodbrook-Murray Hill Garden Club, played tennis at the Bare Hills Club and enjoyed bridge.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the University Baptist Church, 3501 N. Charles St., where she was a member.

Survivors include two sons, Edward Andrew Murray and Christian Emerson Murray, both of Woodbrook; a daughter, Frances Murray Keenan of Baltimore; a sister, Esther Kirkman of Rockport, Texas; and seven grandchildren. Her husband of 44 years died in 1997.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com