Joseph Michael  Murray



SGM Joseph Michael Murray, U.S. Army Retired, 73, of Fayetteville, died Saturday, December 23, 2017. He was born July 3, 1944 in Cherokee, Iowa and was the son of the late Raymond and Gladys Murray. He was also preceded in death by sisters Joanne Rye and Margaret Neuroth, brothers John and Patrick Murray, and brother-in-law William Rye.

He is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn Diane Murray, daughters Melissa Williard and husband Mike, and Victoria Gill. He has four grandchildren, Benjamin Williard, Jared Williard, Brianna Gill, and Haley Gill who he was extremely proud of. He is also survived by sisters-in-law Jackie Murray, Kathy Anderson, and Linda Cox and brothers-in-law Timothy Neuroth, Andy Anderson, and Byron Cox. He leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews, and cousins.

Joe retired from the U.S. Army as a Sergeant Major after 30 years of service, including the Vietnam War. The majority of his 30 years were with numerous Groups within Special Forces. On November 21, 1970 he was 1 of 56 Green Beret volunteers who participated in the Son Tay Raid to rescue American Prisoners of War (POWs) being held in North Vietnam. This daring mission is part of the Special Operations history and is still being taught today within the Special Operations community. His last assignment before retiring in 1992 was the Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Special Warfare Center and School.
After retirement, he and his wife, Diane, owned a motorhome and traveled the U.S. sightseeing and visiting friends and family. He always said after spending 30 years in the Army visiting numerous countries it was time to see his own. One of their highlight trips took them from N.C. through 3 provinces of Canada to Alaska in 2011.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 in the Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Tom Greener officiating. Burial will follow in Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery, Fort Bragg, N.C. with military honors at 2:00 p.m.

The family has requested in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, PO Box 89367, Tampa, FL 33689.

On line condolences may be made at, Obituaries.