Peter Tom Murray, 77, of Baraboo, passed away unexpectedly Friday, April 12, 2019, at his home.
He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and grew up in Green Bay. He graduated from Carleton College and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He met his wife, Mary Ellen, when he was a patient at the Mayo Clinic and she was a student nurse. They have four children, Paul Harker-Murray (Amy Harker), Jessica Murray-Ruef (Bill Ruef), Raul Ovidio Murray and Lina Maria Murray. They also have six grandchildren who Peter loved unconditionally.
Peter held several positions as a financial executive and later moved to nonprofit administration. Peter and Mary Ellen moved to Baraboo in 2000 to their rural home. The two of them became Master Gardeners in 2008 and loved all things green and growing.
Peter is best known in the community for the service he performed as a member of the First United Methodist Church of Baraboo. He began the communitywide Thanksgiving meal drive, a project that has provided thousands of dinners to families. He began the Peanut Butter Lunch Bunch, a community project to provide food to children of low-income families when the school lunch program is not available. For years, he led a community garden project to provide fresh produce for the food pantry.
His greatest service passion was the creation of Neighborly, a community free clothing store he founded in 2007 and continued until his death. Most memorable were the “Undie Sunday” campaigns where he “mentioned the unmentionables” and cajoled local churches to donate new socks and underwear to the free store. He engaged in successful grant writing to support Neighborly and established a donor base of organizations — Bombas Socks, Lands’ End, The Pajama Program and the Elks Club — to support this work. Neighborly provides more than 11,000 garments annually to neighbors in need.
His was a life of love and service.
Peter was preceded in death by his parents, George Frederick Murray and Audrey Eva Frances Gregg Murray.
He is survived by his sisters, Janet Ruth Thome and Elizabeth Ann Murray; and his brother David George Murray.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation of your time or money to the Neighborly Free Store at First United Methodist Church in Baraboo.
A celebration of Peter’s life will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. with ceremony at 6:30 p.m. and fellowship to follow Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at First United Methodist Church, 615 Broadway St., Baraboo. The Redlin Funeral Home is assisting the family.