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UPDATED: 4-H mentor, police chief dead at 41

  RONALD C. MURRAY

 

Even though the Logan County Fairground activity building is open on three sides, it can get sultry on a hot July afternoon during the Junior Fair.

It wears on the exhibitors, the audience, judges and fair volunteers as they fan themselves and gulp down water.

But in the midst of the poultry and rabbit shows, there was Ron Murray, unflustered and enjoying the hubbub. Typically with a slight smile on his face, he would help load and unload cages and organize the exhibitors.

It was another chance to help out 4-H members and see the culmination of their projects.

“He’d give the shirt off his back for any child,” said fellow fair board member Misty Kipker of Mr. Murray, who died unexpectedly Sunday at the age of 41. “He will truly, truly be missed.”

For 24 years, he served as a 4-H adviser.

“He was a mentor,” Ms. Kipker said. “He’d go above and beyond. If there was a kid who wanted to exhibit but couldn’t afford to pay for the project, he’d pay for it.”

Ms. Kipker said she plans to honor her fellow volunteer and her more-than-20-year family friend at this year’s shows.

In his day-to-day life, Mr. Murray was chief of the West Liberty Police Department.

In 2008, he ran against Andrew Smith to replace Logan County Sheriff Michael Henry, who retired.

He is survived by his wife, Jean, and two children.

A Logan County Fair Board member and 4-H leader, Mr. Murray began his duties with the village Nov. 26, 1995, and was promoted to chief in August 1997.

Chief Murray also served his community as chairman of the Logan County Junior Fair Poultry Department; Junior Fair Livestock Sale committeeman; member Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police; National and International Chiefs of Police; member Logan County Agricultural Society; Benjamin Logan High School FFA Boosters; director of Ohio Poultry Association; Antioch Shriners; Antioch Shrine Funsters; Masonic Temple Mad River Lodge 161; and member and former elder at West Liberty Presbyterian Church.

Services are pending at Eichholtz Funeral Home.

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