Douglas V. Murray, 92, Portsmouth

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Douglas V. Murray of Portsmouth, R.I., passed away peacefully on March 10, 2021. 

Douglas answered to several names during his 92 years of a multi-faceted life. As a Naval Academy-trained commissioned submarine officer, for the second half of his total 27 years of service, he was often called “Captain.” In spite of the fact the rule-dominated submarine legend Adm. Rickover did not gravitate to Doug Murray’s clever common sense with a flair for adventure and improvisation, the rest of the Navy valued his intellect and leadership to make him the Chief of Staff to a nuclear sub squadron in New London. 

To his shipmates, he was admired for his loyalty and awed by his forceful voice when immediate action was necessary. Yet in his Portsmouth neighborhood for 41 years, every girl or boy under 10 knew him as Doug (his preferred title) or if around their parents, Mr. Murray, who passed out cookies his wife Laura made. Besides welcoming kids who loved to visit his home, he often used his mechanical skills as he volunteered to repair neighbors’ lawn mowers and other motorized tools.

Doug Murray leaves in his wake Laura, his wife who was the pretty girl of his childhood as he grew up helping his father in the family’s welding and industrial plant repair and renovation business near Schenectady, N.Y. during the Depression and WWII era. He also leaves behind a sister, Sandy Soltys, two sons, John and Bruce, and a daughter, Kitty and two sons, Douglas and Adam who predeceased him. 

He loved them dearly with a constant tension for time between his wife and children, and his shipmates including the crew of the USS Irex, which he commanded during the Cold War. One event, where no Naval medals or ribbons were awarded but still of note, as skipper of a visiting sub, he was the guest of Princess Grace Kelly in a Monaco Christmas party.

The heroine of his life, Laura, kept all the frayed ends neatly hemmed and the kids all “squared away” as Doug often used the term, so when he got home from work/under-water cruises, he could enjoy his family and make time to hunt with his trusty Britany Spaniel or tune-up the 1957 Thunderbird coupe he renovated for Laura.

A memorial service will be held at a later date in New Mexico.

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