Wilburn Ray Murphree
Wilburn Ray Murphree, 83 and known to family and friends as “Tiny,” passed away on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Tiny was born on April 24, 1935 to Lonnie Murphree and Ethel Adams in Calhoun County.
Upon graduation from Bruce High School, Tiny began a lifetime working towards educating and serving others by earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Delta State University and a master’s degree from the University of Mississippi. During his early professional years, he served in the United States Air Force, witnessing history being made firsthand during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Tiny has a local distinction of being the first ever football coach at Lafayette High School. Other coaching posts included Bruce High, Ripley High, Water Valley High and Charleston High. In addition to coaching, Tiny also served as principal at Bruce Middle School and at Vardaman High School, where he retired in 1992.
A member of Lighthouse Baptist Church, Tiny enjoyed coon hunting and gardening, sharing his harvest with friends and family. That harvest defined his greatest joy, because it gave him an excuse to spend more time with loved ones. He will be missed by all of them.
Tiny is survived by his sons Edward Ray (Jeri Lynn) Murphree and Curtis Richard (Pam) Murphree, of Oxford; daughter Jennifer (James) Wilburn of Oxford; sister Bonnie Cowsert of Randolph, Miss.; grandchildren Justin Murphree, Brittany Murphree (Turner) Barnes, Hunter Murphree, John Murphree, Eli Murphree, Michaele (Bobby) Hopper and Travis Wilburn and great-grandchildren Walter T. Barnes and Parker Curtis Murphree.
Visitation was held on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Parker Memorial Funeral Home in Bruce, Miss. A funeral service celebrating Tiny’s life was held immediately following visitation at 1:30 p.m. at Parker Memorial Funeral Home’s Chapel with Brother Rex Ard and Brother Greg Bray officiating.
Tiny was laid to rest in Providence Cemetery in Banner, Miss. immediately after funeral services on Sunday. Serving as Pallbearers were Eli Murphree, Hunter Murphree, John Murphree, Justin Murphree, Sammy Pullim and Travis Wilburn.
Tiny was preceded in death by his mother and father; wife Nina Peeples Murphree; son Alan David Murphree; sister Nona Faye Clark and grandson Miles Murphree Barnes.
Parker Memorial Funeral Homes is honored to be entrusted by the family to assist in making arrangements honoring the life of Tiny Murphree. Online condolences on behalf of the family may be made at www.ParkerMemorialFuneralhomes.com