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John Murray Jr., WWII veteran founded Shoshone Little League Football

Feb. 21, 1926 – June 23, 2015

John “Jack” Murray Jr., a World War II veteran and founder of Shoshone Little League Football, died Tuesday in Williamsville. He was 89.

Born in Chicago, Mr. Murray moved to Buffalo as a child. He joined the 40th Bomb Group, and was a tailgunner in World War II.

Mr. Murray and the former Mary Ellen Spaulding, his late wife of 60 years, were avid Buffalo Bills fans. When his sons were young, Mr. Murray founded and coached the Shoshone Little League Football program in North Buffalo, which has grown to include more than 300 children.

“He was the life of every party. He had a good Irish sense of humor,” said Sue Metzen, his daughter. “He brought all of his children up to remember how important it is to volunteer and give your time to others. We were all brought up to the importance of giving back. He had a huge heart and helped everybody.”

He was a member of St. Rose of Lima Parish, where he served as Home School Association president, co-chairman of the church building fund and chairman of Catholic Charities for the parish.

A former treasurer at Gibraltar Steel, Mr. Murray went on to found his own company. In a nod to his Irish heritage, he named it Clover Industries.

Mr. Murray and his family spent every summer at Long Beach, Ont., where he and his wife bought a beach house 50 years ago.

He was also a golfer and member of the Cherry Hill Club.

He is survived by two daughters, Sue Metzen and Julie Melton; three sons, John, Daniel and James; 13 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. Rose of Lima Church, 500 Parker Ave., Buffalo.

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