Baker City, Oregon

Donny Eugene Murrell, 62, of Baker City, died April 26, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

His memorial service was today at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Ed Niswender of the Calvary Baptist Church officiated.

He was born on June 13, 1941, at Frogville, Okla., to Edgar and Inez Arnold Murrell. He grew up in the Red River bottoms of Oklahoma.

At 17 he left home and joined the U.S. Navy. Enchanted by the Pacific Northwest, Donny moved to the Portland area after his discharge. He continued to remain active in service to his country through the National Guard.

At this time he also re-entered the work force, first with the Army Corps of Engineers and then with the Veterans Administration. Donny retired from the VA after 35 years of service, bridging positions from union president to management.

After his retirement, Donny began the first of many more adventures, including an energy consulting business, a sub-sandwich shop that turned into an Italian food carryout, partnership in a tile business and maintenance work for an assisted-living community. Throughout these trials, he was bitten by gold mining. He was finally able to relocate nearer his claims and back to a more common-sense way of life.

A member of the Eastern Oregon Mining Association, he was an avid gardener, and most recently had enrolled in square dancing lessons. Past enjoyments included hunting, fishing, farming, raising animals, home winemaking, teaching Sunday school, holding Bible study, and acting in community plays.

While on a trip to Milwaukee, Wis., Donny met his soul mate, Elizabeth Naparlinski, and the two began a whirlwind romance. “Esa” moved to Portland in February of 1994, where the couple were married. They moved to Baker City in October of 2002.

Donny touched the hearts of many as a dear son, brother, husband, father, mentor, friend, and neighbor and will long be remembered by those who knew him, his family said.

Survivors include his wife, Esa; his son, Jacob Murrell of Vancouver, Wash.; his daughter, Jessica Poffenroth, and her husband, Thomas, of Vancouver, Wash.; his mother, Inez Cochran, of Hugo, Okla.; five brothers, Larry Murrell and his wife, Ann, of Dallas, Texas, Ronnie Joe Henderson of Dallas, Louis Ray Henderson of Hugo, Okla., and twins, Joe Cochran, and his wife, Sondra, of Dallas, and John Cochran of Missouri; three sisters, Vernie Faye Smart, and her husband, Oscar Lee, of Rosebud, Texas, Johnny Kay Rosenthal and her husband, Jack, of Hugo, Okla., and Donnie Lois Burk of Missouri; his aunt, Lydia Burnett of Paris, Okla.; and many dear cousins, nieces, nephews, great- nieces and great-nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, May 7, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor