Dr. Richard B. Murray

December 5, 1928 - January 6, 2019 West Grove, PA | Age 90 Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather and Friend

On Sunday, Jan 6, 2019, Dr Richard B. Murray, loving husband and father, passed away at age 90.

Dick was born December 5, 1928 in Marietta, GA to William and Ruth (Mozley) Murray. He received a BA from Emory at the age of 18, an MS from Ohio State and his PhD from U Tenn in 1955.

In 1956, he married his fellow researcher, Clella Bay when they were working together at Oak Ridge National Laboratories. They later settled in DE, and raised their daughters, Ada Ruth and Annette.

As a young man, Richard did physics research at Oak Ridge Nat Labs and the US Naval Research Lab. He was a grantee of AEC, NSF, Dept Energy and a fellow at AAAS and the American Physics Society. Richard was a participant on the founding Board of Directors of ORTEC Inc in 1960. He invented a detector that incorporated the company’s silicon surface barrier detectors and associated neutron detection system.

In the 1960’s, the family moved to Newark, DE where he taught at the Univ of DE from 1966-1998, was acting chairman of the Physics Dept from 1975-76, and then moved into admin and became the Provost, VP Academic Affairs for UD. In 1992, he took a year abroad to be a visiting scientist at Clarendon Lab, Oxford U, England. From 1948 – 85, he published numerous articles on nuclear and solid state physics.

Over the years, Richard provided leadership to many organizations (Trustee for Sanford School, Hockessin, DE, Board Chair for Oak Ridge Assoc Univ Foundation, Board member of DE Institute for Med Edu and Research, and a Board member of Southeastern Univ Research Assoc) as well as being a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Sigma Pi Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi and the Cosmos Club.

Richard was known by all for his talent and enthusiasm in golfing, his interest in model trains, and his love of hiking and fishing to relax. He always enjoyed a good story, especially a funny one, and was quick to laugh and spread happiness. He sponsored numerous family trips for vacations around the globe (London, Italy, France, Japan) and ensured that his kids and grandkids shared his love of different cultures and their foods. Special places for him included a cottage in the woods of NC, and a beach condo in Bethany, DE where he could watch the family grow and appreciate annual picnics and kite flying. Dick was dedicated to his family and friends who all came to him as a trusted advisor, mentor and confidant.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Clella Murray; daughter, Ada Koch and her husband Kevin and children Megan Schraedley (husband Eric), Gwen and RJ; daughter, Annette Orella and her husband Chuck and children Michael and Frankie. In addition to his parents, William and Ruth, he is predeceased by his siblings WM and Anita.

A Memorial Service for Richard will be held in Newark, DE at a later date. Service details are forthcoming and his obituary will be updated accordingly.

Arrangements by Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home

Message from the Family

We thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please share with us your fond memories of Richard.

Memorial Donations

Richard B. Murray Physics Graduate Research Fund

University of Delaware
Gifts Processing
83 E. Main Street 3rd Floor
Newark, Delaware 19716


Memorial Service

February 23, 2019 10:30 AM Roselle Center for the Arts
Gore Recital Hall
110 Orchard Road
Newark, DE 19716


  1. Thank you Clella, Ada, and Annette for sharing your husband and father with so many of us who were his students. I know that he was endlessly proud of your accomplishments, just as he was proud of ours. I can still hear him say “Now isn’t that interesting!!’ in response to some unexpected result or problem in my work – and I knew he truly was interested. Thanks, Dick. We’ll miss you.

    Marilyn Wardle | February 21, 2019 at 6:06 PM
  2. I learned so many lessons from Dr. Murray. As a young graduate student who was fortunate to have been accepted into his research group I quickly developed the greatest respect for him, and realized early that his advice was worth following. Dr. Murray had an exemplary career as a teaching and research physicist as well as an administrator. I was so fortunate to have gotten his signature twice on my PhD thesis, once as the thesis advisor and again as the Dean of the Graduate School. Dr. Murray was worthy of the respect that he enjoyed from all this students and colleagues. Rest in peace!

    David G. Fisher | January 11, 2019 at 1:45 PM
  3. Dick Murray was one of the first Delaware faculty members I met a long time ago. Through the years he has been a valued colleague. His graduate students were great teaching assistants when they were here and have gone on to distinguished careers. My thoughts are with Clella and the rest of his family. He will be missed.

    Harry Shipman | January 10, 2019 at 9:04 PM
  4. Our thoughts and prayers are with Clella and family. We have many fond memories of Dick. Hugh especially enjoyed their golf outings.
    Hugh and Joan Ferguson

    Joan Ferguson | January 9, 2019 at 8:57 PM
  5. A distinguished life led – contributions to both family and society. My deepest condolences to the family, in particular Annette and Chuck whom I am privileged to be colleagues with. May you all be comforted by the fact that Dr Murray is in a better place. I saw a picture that Annette shared recently of his 90th birthday celebrations. it was really great that Dr Murray gets to celebrate this event with family and be associated with trains that he so loved. In your grieving, may you also celebrate the full life that he led. May the good Lord, who grants peace that surpasses all understanding, be with your family during this difficult time.

    James Hah (MSD Singapore) | January 9, 2019 at 8:09 PM

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