Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Gary Murr, Saugus School Board President

By Sarah Donner
Signal Staff Writer

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Gary Murr

uneral services are scheduled Monday for Saugus Union School District board President Gary Murr, who died suddenly this week. He was 58.
    "All of his life in this community was devoted to the children and the parents and the staff and our district," Saugus Union School District Superintendent Judy Fish said Friday. "He understood so well the needs of the children because his children went to the school."
    Murr had been a grassroots leader in the field of education when his children began their education in the Saugus district. He was stirred to champion education after his children began at Emblem Elementary because nearby Plum Canyon School had not yet been built.
    "That's why he got involved — because he wanted to help with the growth," Murr's wife, Charlotte Murr, said Friday. "He had been involved in PTA since the oldest was in kindergarten."
    Murr co-chaired the first general obligation bond in the district in 1992 to build additional schools.
    A 28-year veteran of the garment industry, Murr left that work and began his service in the school district, choosing a new career in real estate.
    As a member of the school board, Murr would regularly attend site council meetings at all the district's schools, as well as nearly every school function, Fish said.
    "He attended all the events — that's putting your time where your passion is," Fish recalled.
    Charlotte Murr remembered his tenacious commitment to his job as president of the school board — a commitment she said he maintained in all areas of his life.
    "There was a confidentiality that he never wanted to break," she said.
    "I respected that because I felt if he did it for school, he would do it for us," said Charlotte Murr, who serves as an instructional aide at Bridgeport Elementary School.
    Although the bustling schedule of the school board always was in his mind, Murr was never too busy to pause for a good laugh, Fish said.
    "He had a big, hearty laugh and he was a big man, but — Oh my goodness! — what a warm heart and a teddy bear inside," she said.
    Murr is survived by his wife and their four children, Vanessa, Christopher, Mallory and Nicholas. He is also survived by his sisters, Sondra Murr Love and Marcia Murr Terry, as well as many nieces and nephews.
    "We're still in shock," Charlotte Murr said. "My kids keep saying they're waiting for him to walk in the door."
    Funeral services will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church at 16643 Vanowen St. in Van Nuys. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles.
    In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made either to the St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church or to Saugus Union School District for library books for Saugus schools.

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