Cleo Theresa Murray passed away peacefully at the age of 93 years on Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Cleo was born on April 19, 1929, in Okarche, Oklahoma. Her parents, Henry Martin, and Mary Catherine Lodes were proud parents of 16 children, in which Cleo was the 15th and the last surviving sibling.
Cleo was married on May 12, 1956, to Thomas Darwin Murray. They were married for 56 years. He preceded her in death on August 20, 2012.
Cleo was a dedicated Mom to four children, John (Lisa) Murray, Tom (Carolyn) Murray, Theresa Mapes, and Lisa (Mike) Temple, raising them in Tucson, Arizona. She also took great pride in her grandchildren, Dylan, Dustin, Tucker (Danielle), Tiffanie (Paul), Melissa, Patrick (Laura), Michael (Laquisha), Kelsey (Sam), Erin (Matt), Alicia (Kyle), Annie (Matt), Katee (Monet), Gracie (Nathan) and Samuel.
Cleo was blessed to have many great-grandchildren – they are as follows: Matthew Murray, Nathaly (Dustin’s) Liliana, Lilith, Logan (Tucker and Danielle's), Bradley, Allison, Zach, Andrew (Tiffanie and Paul’s), Madison (Melissa’s), Litzy, Jaden, Daniel, Patrick and Laura’s), Makenna, Lakai, Khalissa, Michael and Laquisha’s), Madeline, Charlotte (Alicia and Kyle’s), Christopher, Ziyra, Caira, Christopher (Annie and Matt’s), Lucca, Ezra (Katee and Monet’s), Liam, Benjamin and Gabriel (Gracie and Nathan’s).
Cleo had many, many nieces and nephews, which, along with Cleo’s siblings, when they all got together, always had a spirited game of Pitch going – maybe several tables at a time.
Cleo loved to play bridge with her Tucson girlfriends, Carol Bacon, Virginia Renard, June DeGrood, and Judy Riebe. She was quite the master in the flower garden, and loved roses, geraniums, and periwinkles, as they grew the best in the Tucson desert. But more than this, she was the extreme master baker. She loved to bake, especially at Christmas. Her cookies and bars, cobblers. and breads were amazing. She was a pretty darn good cook, too. She was committed to the Catholic faith, prayed her rosary consistently, and loved to go to church. Her other passion was the UofA Wildcats – she loved UofA football and basketball. If she could have had final words, it probably would have been “Bear Down Arizona”!
Services are tentatively scheduled for Friday, November 3rd, 2023, at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix.