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David Murray Burley

January 3, 1927 January 11, 2015
David Murray Burley
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Obituary for David Murray Burley

David Murray Burley, a lifelong resident of the Milford area, died at Huron Valley Sinai Hospital, surrounded by family, on Sunday, January 11, 2015. He was 88 years old.
Born on January 3, 1927 into the large family of James and Elizabeth (Clark) Burley, Murray and his three brothers and seven sisters were raised on the family�s farm on Tipsico Lake Rd. north of Middle Rd. in Highland and his great-grand father Asa Prior�s farm at the west end of the township near the G.M. Proving Grounds. A child of the Great Depression, Murray was raised with a deep faith, an appetite for honest labor and appreciation for the ties that bind family together, generation after generation. The Burleys planted corn and potatoes, wheat and oats, cucumbers for the pickle factory and kept cows and chickens and a team of horses. When his father and elder brothers outfitted their flat-bed truck with a box they built to deliver potatoes to Detroit, it was the beginning of Murray and his brothers� career as Teamsters. Eventually, they drove routes all over the Midwest. Murray delivered parts for General Motors primarily between Detroit, Michigan and Buffalo, New York.
Murray was not quite fifteen when Pearl Harbor was attacked in December of 1941 and the United States entered World War II. In his junior year at Milford High School, following his brother, Harold, who�d gone into the Army Air Corps, Murray enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the Navy Air Corps from 1944-1946, stationed in Guam, flying air and sea rescues throughout the South Pacific. After the war, he came home to Milford and resumed his education, graduating from Milford High School with sixty-five other classmates, a dozen of whom, like Murray were wartime veterans.
He was a proud member of the American Legion Post 216, serving as its historian for years and helping with honor teams for veteran�s burial services. He was an active member of Milford Presbyterian Church.
Murray Burley was a farm boy and Navy flier, a long distance Teamster, a John Deere aficionado and fan of big band music. He was a storyteller and cartoonist and sketch artist and talented woodworker, a loving husband and father and family man and friend and a child of God for whom the term �salt of the earth� seemed perfectly suited. Murray could always be found working on some repair project at the church, where he�d served as an elder and an usher, tinkering with an old car, tractor, or train set out in the barn. He also enjoyed having coffee with the old soldiers and sailors at the American Legion and breakfasting with old pals as he did most mornings, sketching their portraits on napkins. He had about him an abundance of goodwill, generosity and fellow feeling that made him a living exemplar of the beatitudes. His faith and family brought him through the Great Depression, a World War, life�s plentiful sorrows and abundant joys. In the end they saw him through the Alzheimer�s disease that took him from us. Through all of it, his generous spirit, ready smile, and willingness to serve made him an easy man to love and admire, to be missed and remembered.
Murray is survived by his beloved wife, Mary, his sons and daughters, James D. (Marsha) Burley, Lynda (Philip) Mullally, Carole (Paul) Gmelin, Allan G. Teasel, David L. (Cindy) Teasel, Alana Hoeft, Dinah (William) Brinson, Cathy (Harold) Burton; 15 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren; and by his sisters, Thelma (Howard) Armstrong, Norma (Norton) Caswell, Ann Ries, Juanita (George) Rogers. He is preceded in death by sisters, Hazel, Jean and Mildred and by brothers, Roy, Harold and Ralph. Also surviving are a host of nieces and nephews and their families and a multitude of friends who join with his family in mourning the death of a good man and giving thanks to God for his life among them.
Funeral services for Murray Burley will take place at Milford Presbyterian Church, Main Street at Liberty, on Friday, January 16, at 11 AM, The Reverend Bryant Anderson will officiate. Burial will follow in Milford Memorial Cemetery. Friends may visit at Lynch & Sons, 404 E. Liberty, Milford, on Thursday 2-9 PM. Memorials to the Milford Presbyterian Church are appreciated.


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