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Murray Brothers

December 3, 1938 - October 21, 2017


It is with much sadness that we say our final goodbye to our beloved husband, father and grandfather at the age of 78.  Murray passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at Riverview Health Centre.

He will be lovingly remembered by Toni, his wife of 57 years; his son Duane (children Keziah, Josiah and their mother Lois, partner Cheryl); daughters Tanya (Peter Robertson-Stovel and children Quinn, Dane and Logan), Tamara (partner Lloyd), and Tara (Dan Bertoia and children Ella, Ava, and Luca); brothers Bev, Terry and Cameron and sisters Lillian, Marion, Sandra and Deborah, their spouses and his many nieces and nephews.  He is also well remembered by his brothers and sisters – in – law: Geri, Derrick, David, Patricia, Wendy, Denise, Bradley (recently deceased), Susan and their spouses and children.

Murray was predeceased by his parents William and Christine, his brothers Carl, Bill, Allison, and Garfield, his in-laws Douglas and Thelma Carruthers, and sisters –in – law Judy and Pamela.

A celebration of his life will be held from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Friday, November 24, 2017 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg, 603 Wellington Crescent at Academy Road.

Murray was born on December 3, 1938 in Cambridge Station, Kings County, Nova Scotia.  Forever a “Down Homer”, Murray would always have molasses on the table and enjoy a good cornbread and salt cod.  He spoke often and with fond remembrance of his youth in Nova Scotia, particularly of his times with his siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles.  In our family, it is common to refer to Uncle Baden or Dougie Ball, two deceased family members who came to life in the stories told by our father.

Murray left Nova Scotia in 1959 to work with his brother Bill in Thunder Bay, Ontario. There he was introduced to Toni, a gal he had eyes for, in the Port Arthur Café and they married in 1960. Duane and then Tanya were born and the family lived in Thunder Bay for just over 3 years, moving to Winnipeg to join his brother Bill, sister-in-law Marge and their family. Tamara was born early in their Winnipeg days, shortly after Murray and Toni bought a home on School Rd in St. James, and the family was soon joined in the city by brother Bev, sister-in-law Lois and their family, and by brother Terry.  Tara was born a number of years later, and very solid roots were grown in the Winnipeg community during the next number of years.

The first set of Winnipeg years were a golden period of time for Murray and his family, full of regular Sunday dinners with the extended family and summer road trips, where the families would travel as a group by convoy to Toronto, Nova Scotia, Calgary and B.C. over the years, to visit other members of the large and close-knit Brothers and Carruthers families. In the School Rd. neighborhood, Murray and Toni developed lifelong friendships with the Chiplins, McLaughlins, Browns, Lapings, Schrofels and many others. Duane, Tanya, Tamara and Tara's friends were always welcome in the family home and Murray is remembered fondly by many of them. 

Murray was a very hard worker throughout the years of his life.  He started working on his parents' farm, and held many, varied jobs in the years after that. In Winnipeg as a construction worker, he helped to build 405 Broadway -the Woodsworth Building - where daughter Tanya currently works.  He then sold Electrolux vacuums door to door, was a long-distance trucker with Reimer Trucking, and then he became a great car salesman, which became a career he truly loved.

Those who were around Winnipeg in the late 70s and early 80s will remember Terry Balkan Chev - Olds.  Murray worked there with and became lifelong friends of Walter Thompson, Jim Weisberger, Murray Ryder and “Brother” Lou Adams. It was a time of polyester shirts, big medallions, three-piece suits and Murray embraced it all. He had fun and was also very good at his job. He had integrity and an easy charm, a recipe for success in this business.

In 1981, Murray, Toni, Tamara and Tara moved to North Vancouver, B.C.  Murray worked in the car business there and received numerous awards for his salesmanship. Family and friends continued to be a focus of Murray's, and many happy memories were made with the extended family members living in the lower mainland. Professional and personal friendships grew, as Murray's gregarious and dynamic personality led him to build a strong community, with Toni, in his new home. Upon retirement in 2002, Toni and Murray moved back to Winnipeg.

Murray was always a tinkerer and had to have busy hands. He had an inquiring intellect and myriad hobbies. Murray was amazing in his ability to pick up and apply all kinds of skills, from car repair to electrical work to carpentry, bread baking and wine-and-beer making; anything that needed to be done, he could figure out a way to do it. 

Murray also had wide ranging interests. A great fan of WWF wrestling, his children grew up watching Murray watch wrestling with more physicality than the wrestlers themselves! His laughter would ring out each time he watched, as he nicknamed it, 'the wrestles'. He loved music all of his life, particularly the blues, and found great joy in introducing his children and sons-in-law to the greats of the genre. He and Toni loved antiquing, and together they furnished their homes with their many beautiful finds. Starting in his North Van years and continuing upon his return to Winnipeg, he made wine and beer, and shared it with all. He particularly enjoyed vintage cars.  He owned and restored several, including but not limited to, a 1928 Model A and a 1937 Chevrolet.  He was also involved in the Manitoba Antique Car Club both as a member and as President.

He loved being “Grandad” and being around his 8 grandchildren was a great joy to him. If there is a theme to Murray’s life, it is family. He came from a large, loving family and being around his family - his wife, his children, and his extended family - was truly a primary focus of his life.  He spoke to his siblings regularly, even as they were spread across Canada and into the United States, and it was important to him that he, Toni and their children regularly visited the rest of the family and attended all family reunions.  Because of Big Mur, that love of family and a focus on the importance of being together is a foundation upon which we, his wife, children and grandchildren, all live.

In 2007, Murray was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and was placed in care at Riverview in 2011.  The family are thankful to the caregivers and all of the staff on AB1 and CD2 who provided him with wonderful care over the years.

Murray was known for his laugh, his smile, his stories, and his good nature.  He will be missed.

Dad, we will miss you, we will love you, we will think of you always, we will love you forever.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba would be sincerely appreciated by the family. Click HERE to donate online.

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