James W. Murray October 28, 1929 - August 29, 2019
James Walker Murray, 89, of Center Valley, PA passed away at home on Thursday, August 29, 2019. Jimmy was the beloved husband of the late Myra A. (Bray) Murray. He was born in Plainfield, NJ on Monday, October 28, 1929. The son of the late Hugh D. and Gertrude M. (Somers) Murray. Jim was one of ten children. With only an eight-grade education Jim worked various jobs until he started selling baked goods for Dugan Brother’s Bakery and then Burry Biscuit in 1952. In 1965, Jim moved his family from New Jersey to the Lehigh Valley to work for the Allen Food Products Company, Inc. as the assistant director of sales and marketing. In 1970, he became the Vice President of sales and marketing. Jim became the President and Chief Executive Officer of the ALPO Pet Foods Division in 1973 at age 43. At age 51, Jim left Alpo Pet Foods to purchase Cadillac Pet Foods. Jim was the CEO of Cadillac from 1981 until 1987 when he sold the business to retire. As a man of such little education he achieved great success. He served in the National Guard and was a volunteer fireman in Watchung, NJ for many years. Jim served on the board of trustees for the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Airport and Allentown College (DeSales University) from 1975-1984. He was an active member of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church, Bethlehem. Jim loved to travel, take family trips, swimming and water skiing at Lake Hopatcong, NJ, playing cards with friends, golfing at the Lehigh and Saucon Valley Country Clubs, and snow skiing at Bromley Mountain, VT. Most importantly he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, great uncle and friend.
Survivors: Three daughters: Donna, wife of Dale Yarasavage, Tunkhannock, PA; Barbara “Bobbie” wife, of Greg Klipple, Coopersburg, PA; Joanne “JoJo”, wife of Steve Konold, Peru, VT; five grandchildren, Kelly Deanne Yarasavage wife of Adam Maher, Cassie Marie Yarasavage, wife of Greg Colosimo, Aiden James Konold, Gavin Charles Konold and Owen Michael Konold; step grandchildren, Jared Klipple, Alayna Klipple and Raelyn Foulke; three great granddaughters, Molly Maher, Gracelyn and Madelyn Colosimo, twins; one step great grandson, Benjamin Foulke; brothers, Eugene Murray, Spring Lake, NJ and Donald husband of Ruth Murray, Green Brook, NJ. He was predeceased by a granddaughter, Jody Marie Wursta and grandson, Dustin James Yarasavage.
Services: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th at 10:30 A.M. in the Assumption B.V.M. Church 4101 Old Bethlehem Pike Bethlehem, PA. Call 9:00 – 10:30 A.M. in the church. Arrangements by Stephens Funeral Home, Inc., Allentown. Please share condolences at www.stephensfuneral.com.
Contributions: In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the James Walker Murray DeSales University Scholarship Fund c/o Stephens Funeral Home, Inc. 274 North Krocks Road, Allentown PA 18106. Jim always believed that “Education is the key to success”!
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