Clella Bay Murray

June 16, 1930 - May 28, 2022 West Grove, PA | Age 91 Loving Mother, Grandmother and Friend.

On May 28, 2022, Clella Bay Murray, loving wife and mother, passed away at age 91. Clella was born June16, 1930 in Albia, Iowa to Dr. Francis and Ada (Kupfer) Bay. She received a BS from Smith College in genetics and embryology, followed by an MS in the field from the University of Michigan. She continued her scientific career in research at the Oak Ridge National Labs in TN. In 1956, she married her fellow researcher, Richard, when they were working together at Oak Ridge. They later settled in DE, and raised their daughters, Ada Ruth and Annette.

Clella was proud of the research that she did at Oak Ridge Nat Labs, looking at the atomic effects on chromosomes. Impressively, after raising her two daughters, she studied computer programming, and worked in programming and writing training manuals at the University of Delaware and small writing companies. Her passion for writing was continued later in her life with the publication of three novels, a mystery series of four books, a young adult historical fiction book, and most recently a children’s Christmas story.

Over the years, Clella provided leadership and support for many organizations surrounding her love of reading, writing, gardening and music. Her creativity enabled growth for the Newark Symphony Society, and she served on the board of and volunteered for the Newark Library for many years. She was a Master Gardener, and left scissors by her glorious garden in Jenners Pond to share her flowers with those who walked by. She received the prestigious first place in the young adult fiction section from the National Federation of Press Woman for her book Dangerous Journey and was Woman of the Year in 2005 for the University of Delaware Women’s Club. A little known fact is that she also smocked baby clothes to donate to families of stillborn children, to provide comfort in their time of need.

Even with her career, hobbies and volunteering, Clella never wavered that family came first. Her love for her Iowa homeland and family was matched by the passion with which she threw herself in to support everything in which her husband and two daughters were involved. Her daughters continue to feel the pride and confidence she instilled in them. Clella was known by all for her generous nature and talent for entertaining. She had a knack for making everyone feel welcome and part of her larger family network. She creatively introduced her family to all kinds of new activities from Chinese Opera to camping, and she engendered a love of travel in her children and grandchildren by organizing numerous family trips for vacations around the globe (London, Italy, France and Japan). Special places for her included a cottage in the woods of NC, and a beach condo in Bethany, DE where she hosted annual sand castle contests.

Clella was predeceased by her husband of 63 years, Richard Murray, her parents Frank and Ada and her siblings Chloe Coon, Carol Daniels and Celia Bay. She is survived by 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; and an army of friends she held near and dear.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Jenners Pond Allison Building Theater at 1 pm June 17. A private family service will be held at the Kuzo Funeral Home in Kennett Square PA prior to burial in the family cemetery in Iowa.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Longwood Gardens ( or The Newark Symphony ( Please indicate ‘In memory of Clella Murray’ on your donation so the family is able to express their gratitude.

To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, please visit,

Message from the Family

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Memorial Donations


Longwood Gardens
Please indicate ‘In memory of Clella Murray’ on your donation so the family is able to express their gratitude.


The Newark Symphony
Please indicate ‘In memory of Clella Murray’ on your donation so the family is able to express their gratitude.


Celebration of Life

June 17, 2022 1:00 A Memorial Service will be held at Jenners Pond Allison Building Theater at 1 pm June 17. A private family service will be held at the Kuzo Funeral Home in Kennett Square PA prior to burial in the family cemetery in Iowa.


  1. We were deeply saddened to learn of Clella’s passing. She brought so much joy everywhere she went. She and her pillar and scroll wooden-works clock were favorites of ours at Wyndwood Tyme. And whenever John would stop by to service Clella’s clock, he was always invited to stay for tea and cookies.

    Clella went out of her way to make us feel special — and after reading in her obituary all that she was doing for so many people and organizations, she certainly made the most of her 91 years, sharing her kindness and generosity all along the way. When she invited us to dinner at Jenner’s Pond, we were treated as though we were part of her family.

    Amazing that somehow, in between all of that, she found time to perform research, continue her learning and write books — while lavishing her family with love and support. As an avid reader, Darelle loved when Clella explained how she would use pesky people who annoyed her as characters in her books and mete out appropriate punishment over the course of the story. Reading a book has never been the same for Darelle since.

    Thank you for sharing Clella with us. We know there will be a new bright star that will be watching over all of Clella’s “family.” We feel honored to have been included in her caring circle.

    Darelle & John Riabov

    Darelle Riabov | June 20, 2022 at 9:18 PM
  2. It was memorial day morning and I was walking my dog around Sycamore pond when I noticed Clella’s Peonies , some heavy and face down on the ground . Pink Peonies where my mother’s favorite flower , and Clella always said to pick what I liked, so I did – four of them – and took them to the cemetery , and the way back stopped at Rusten to visit and thank her , finding out she had passed Saturday . We had fun doing Knick Knack , I’ll miss her , and so will my little dog who checks out her porch every time we circle the pond , 2or3 times a day . She was a grand lady . Anna Bellenger

    Anna Bellenger | June 18, 2022 at 9:36 AM
  3. dear family,
    I had been a friend and neighbor in Covered Bridge for many years. We also belong to Head of Christiana Presb. Church and kept in contact through an invite for lunch or picking up some groceries for use at Hope Dining Hall. Your mother was a charming woman and very generous. Years ago when I friend from Germany came back to visit me, she offered us the beach condo for four days. That we enjoyed. Invited me to the Authors Club Luncheon. I have some of her books and loved reading them. I met two of your children at the park and I brought two of mine for a play date. Last time she showed me her garden and I saw her Children’s book. It was a pleasure having known Clella and your father.
    Rosemarie White

    Rosemarie White | June 6, 2022 at 3:12 PM
  4. Dear Murray Family,
    I met Clella several years back when she joined our Diamond State Stitchers group. She was a welcome new addition to this circle of long time friends, with her interests and easy laughter and good company. Since I lived nearby, I soon began to pick her up to drive together to our monthly meetings. She would regale me with warm stories of her family and her youth, and she was amazing with her knowledge on so many fronts. She was so generous with her hospitality and had us meet at her home with Dick in Newark and also had us come to the condo at the beach. When they decided to relocate to Jenner’s pond, I made a point of finding her up there, too. The last time I saw her was last summer with another of our stitching friends, Marlene, and Clella was her wonderful welcoming self. I am so happy to have known her. Rest In Peace, Clella.

    Kathryn Dalecki | June 5, 2022 at 2:34 PM
  5. I knew Clella through the UD University Women’s Club and have fond memories of her support for this group. In her ‘UD Cooks’ column for the UDWC newsletter, she always accompanied the recipes with stories. I enjoyed reading her novels and marveled at her continuing zest for life despite her and her husbands’ declining health.

    Karen Schueler

    Karen Schueler | June 4, 2022 at 1:51 PM
  6. Dear Ada, Annette and Family,

    Those we love don’t go away, They walk beside us every day, 
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
 Still loved, still missed and very dear. I am so sorry for your loss. Your Mom was such a special woman and will be greatly missed by all. She was brilliant kind thoughtful and witty. And I’m told she could throw a fabulous party!!! I’ve known her for almost three years now and I am blessed to have had her in my life…We have been through so much in those three years. As you know she would call me cheerios and that always made me smile.. I even took a picture of myself holding a box of Cheerios and gave it to her. We both got a Big laugh out of that one. We would go for long rides in the country and it always made me happy to see how much she loved the country. I think I drove past every farm in Chester and Lancaster County. She always enjoyed her Book Club meetings and we attended a few of those together. Went on a shopping trip for 6 hours to find just the right trees for the front porch. She wanted them to be perfect. We enjoyed sitting on the patio and talking about the flowers, watching mystery movies, sitting on the front porch and Joan coming over for tea. She told many stories of her Dad, Mom and Sisters, but nothing gave her more pride then talking about Mr. Murray her girls and your families. She was so proud of all of you and treasured every moment. You were all little fragments of her heart. I know you will all miss her greatly but take comfort in knowing She will always be with you. Love Betty

    Betty Keenan | June 4, 2022 at 8:13 AM
  7. I met Clella mid-may 2022 at jenners pond with her lovely caretaker, Betty. We sat outside together with my mother who is currently in jenners pond. Clella shared many stories with me during our hour long visit, including how wonderful and amazing her husband was to her. She was brilliant and I found myself amazed at what an accomplished woman she was. She shared with me how proud she was of her daughters along with stories of her childhood. At the end of our meeting, she left my mom with a copy of her murder mystery book. To this day, weeks later, I found myself thinking of her, her talent, sense of humor and wit. She had an undeniable sparkle. It was a serendipitous meeting that I will cherish forever.

    Nona Van Deusen | June 4, 2022 at 6:53 AM
  8. I first met Clella at Jenners Pond, where I noticed a gentleman, Richard (her husband), wearing red suspenders. My husband, a resident along with Richard, also loved wearing suspenders. The two men both held PhDs in science. Clella was a friend to us, a fellow writer to me, extra energy to continue making my husband’s last days as full, rich and fun as possible! She introduced us to friends and family, we shared meals, enjoyed activities and the garden out front, to which I added alyssum to Clella’s beauties. We delved into many interesting topics, and played music on our cell phones. I will never forget her positive outlook, her friendship. Thank you so very much, Clella!

    Joanne Silver | June 3, 2022 at 12:55 PM
  9. Dear Clella’s Family,
    Clella and I met as writers and soon became friends. Our husbands liked each others as well and that resulted in some memorable meals and occasional theater visits. Also, I must mention Clella’s wonderful sense of humor. She was a kind person and a great friend. I shall miss her.
    Sadly, I will be away when Clella’s service is held..

    Sandra Michel | June 2, 2022 at 12:07 PM

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