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Welcome to the memorial page for

Thomas Murdock

May 2, 1934 ~ May 17, 2017 (age 83)

Memorial service will be held at 2 pm, June 3rd, 2017 at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, located at 17405 Northeast Glisan Street, Portland, OR 97230. Private inurnment and committal will be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Coos Bay.

Thomas Lee Murdock 1934-2017

Thomas Lee Murdock, 83, passed away peacefully on May 17, 2017.  He was born on May 2, 1934, in San Mateo, California to Lillian Wells and James Maynard Murdock.  Thomas took great pride that both sides of his family were early pioneers to Oregon and California.  He graduated from Klamath Union High School and was chosen as Outstanding Senior Boy of 1952.  At Willamette University, he was a Senior Scholar in Political Science and President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.

After graduation, he was selected to serve as Research Assistant to United States Senator Richard L. Neuberger.  While serving in Washington D.C., Thomas was named a University Fellow at Northwestern University.  In 1959, he married Esther Walton Gwilliam of McCall, Idaho.  Together they moved to Berkeley, California where he entered the Episcopal Church Divinity School of the Pacific. He graduated and was ordained Deacon and Priest in 1962. 

Following his graduation, he was appointed Vicar at St. Aidan’s Chapel of Trinity Cathedral.  He was the first rector of the congregation which he led to Parish status.  While in Portland, he called the organizational meeting of SnowCap Community Charities.  Later, he served as the first President of Snow Cap.  He also chaired the bond drive to build and later to enlarge Mount Hood Community College.

In 1970, Thomas accepted a call to Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Coos Bay, Oregon.  Here he led bond drives that expanded many community services.  His concern for the needs of the less fortunate led him to bring community members together to establish THE House (Temporary Help in Emergency).  He later served two terms on the Bay Area Hospital Board, retiring as Board Chairman.  Thomas loved the people and natural beauty of Coos Bay and North Bend. He loved gourmet cooking, clamming, fishing and was an avid mushroom hunter, In 1984 he was called to the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in San Mateo, California.  While there he served as President of Episcopal Charities, an umbrella organization for 14 non-profits serving needs throughout the Bay Area.  For 15 years he served as an alumni trustee on the Board of Directors of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific.  Thomas served on the Bishop’s Council and was a deputy to three Episcopal Church conventions.  At General Convention, he actively worked in support of the ordination of women.  He was a fervent supporter of the North American Church’s responsibility to support human rights in Central America.  His time there included supporting food projects and searching for The Disappeared.

After his retirement in 1988, he continued to minister to multiple congregations, volunteered as an English as a Second Language tutor and worked for San Mateo County Mental Health implementing socialization programs for the mentally ill.  Thomas loved to travel, leading several travel tours through The Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.  He had an insatiable curiosity for life, loved to meet new people, try new foods and was open to new ideas.  He made sure his children experienced life in other cultures, valued education and saw the importance of giving back to the communities they lived in.  He modeled action by identifying problems and creating solutions.  No problem was too big that it could not be solved by community action.

Thomas is survived by his two children, Jeffrey Murdock of Eugene and Heather (Bob) Roberts of Portland, and by his three beloved grandchildren, Quin Wogmon, Owen Wogmon and Jorie Wogmon.  He is also survived by his sister, Kathryn Wells Murdock.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Esther Murdock and his sister, Beverly Murdock Cheyne.   A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 3rd at 2 pm at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, located at 17405 Northeast Glisan Street, Portland, OR 97230. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to The Celtic Heart, David Douglas High School, 1001 SE 135th, Portland, OR 97233  

Please visit the church's link for more information.


 Service Information

Memorial Gathering
June 3, 2017

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
St. Aiden's Episcopal Church
17405 NE Glisan Street
Gresham, OR 97230

Private Committal

Emmanuel Episcopal Church
400 Highland Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420
Coos Bay, OR 97420

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