Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer William H. Murie

Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona

End of Watch Wednesday, November 19, 1980

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Officer William H. Murie

11/21/2020

Mac, your words were spoken straight from your heart beautiful, kind, warmth from beginning to end.

Jeannie Ashline
Jeannie Ashline, special friend

November 21, 2020

A year or so ago I was with Bill's widow Gwenn-now my wife of 30 years--at the AZ DPS and the statewide memorial services. Governor Brewer spoke at both, and the thanks I conveyed to her say much of what I feel almost every day about Bill's loss.

The Honorable Janice K. Brewer
Arizona Governor
Executive Tower
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Dear Governor Brewer:

Several times our paths have converged in the course of my work as Chief Solicitor at the Alliance Defense Fund. In that professional capacity, I have greatly appreciated the work you do for our state.

But on Monday, May 7, our paths converged for a different, personal reason. Twice that day you stood at a podium; twice I sat in an audience, with my wife Gwenn beside me. Once in the soft balm of the spring morning at DPS headquarters; once in the warm spring evening at Wesley Bolin Park; she and I again relived the loss her first husband, DPS officer Bill Murie, who died on November 19, 1980 of injuries received in the line of duty. Bill died as he lived—helping people at an accident scene.

I knew Bill but slightly—a 6’ 7” highway patrolman who went to my small Flagstaff church, I couldn’t totally ignore him. But I paid no heed to his wife, being then-single and much involved in school and work. The first time I remember seeing her was at Bill’s graveside service on a wan November day: silhouetted against a dark wood coffin; bracketed on either side by impossibly small, twin daughters.

My shallow thought at that moment was that I need go no further into the universe of her tragedy—she lost her dad the same day to unrelated medical causes, and within two weeks lost the third child she carried. I’d done my Christian duty, shown up at the service, and along with some personal grieving, that was that.

But as I suspect you would understand, God does not respect man’s shallow thoughts. Instead, He watched three years later as Gwenn and I pledged our lives to one another, until death do us part.

Happily, the ensuing decades have seen that pledge fulfilled. And through those years I learned some of just how deeply the loss of a husband and daddy cuts. Time, as Attorney General Horne noted in the evening, may soften the blows with each passing year. But time can also be transparent to pain; loss that is decades old can instantly become grief renewed that slices through every sinew of the soul.

The point of this is to say, with some context and clarity, that the time that you so generously devote each year to honoring fallen officers is not only deeply appreciated, but that you serve as one of the healing agents for these blessed, bereaved survivors.

Listening to your measured words of compassion; watching you unhurriedly share your concern by word and touch with each cluster of newly wounded families was and is a deep blessing to us.

Lending the honor and respect of the office you hold to the efforts of so many officers, thus sustaining the memory of the lost is a material and profound touch that, I assure you, helps us all honor those who gave the last, full measure of devotion.

In short, “thank you” for your unstinting and active support for the survivors. If you ever wonder whether your time was worth it…

It was.

With kind regards,



Gary S. McCaleb

Gary McCaleb
Husband

September 25, 2013

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

November 19, 2012

Uncle Bill,
Though I never had the pleasure of knowing you like I wish I could have. Pleas know that you are always on my mind. Knowing my your brother, my dad, and knowing the man he is, I am sure that you were an idol and a big influence to him. Everyone that knew you said that you were a great man and a great father. Something your brother has always been for us as well. You are never forgotten and always loved.

TSgt Richard Murie
USAF

May 29, 2012

I knew Bill and Gwen when we lived in Page. They were the first people I met there, and they welcomed me into their lives with open arms. Bill had a terrific sense of humor, and loved peanut butter. Indeed, that was his call name.

One of my favorite stories was of the time he stopped me while I was pulling a houseboat to Lake Powell. I must admit I rarely had the right permits, and paid little attention to road signs. I had a guy working for me who was driving behind the boat - a 48x14 foot wide. He had a siren in his truck. I turned onto the highway which runs between the Visitor Center and the Wahweap marina, and heard a siren. I thought it was Tom. Then...a deep voice came over the loudspeaker, "Martha, this is the Lord speaking." It was Bill. He came up to the truck and said he couldn't see who was at the head of the operation but had a pretty good idea when I took the corner at the Visitor's Center.

His death was crushing, and the loss to his family and friends beyond compare. I still think of him frequently, as well as Gwen and the girls. All best wishes to those who knew him.

Martha Miller, MD
friend

February 1, 2012

This morning on our radio show in Grand Junction, Colorado, we were talking about how Burger King is looking at offering delivery. That reminded me of the unique friendship/kinship Bill and I had in Flagstaff, and brought me to this site. Back when we lived in Flag, Bill's very caring wife Gwen, was concerned that he eat more of a healthy diet than the fast food he had an affinity for. But...there were times we just had to sneak off and have some of the forbidden food. I'll never forget the time he and I went through the BK drive through in Flag, and took the banned bag of burgers out to one of the viewpoints close by...it was great great bonding moment. Bill had an amazing depth of spiritual life and understanding, a great combination of gravity with big laughter, and a love for his family that was incomparable. He was a great example to this young Dad. I know Bill would be and is, very pleased with how life turned out, and how Gwenn and the girls have thrived with Gary at the helm.

Honored to know the man,

David Combs,
Former brother-in-law

David Combs
former brother in law to Bill

January 18, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the thirty -first anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.


I pray for solace for all those who called Bill beloved for I know both the pain and pride are forever. Death ends a life, not a relationship, and this adage is certainly evidenced by the reflections left in memory of Bill.
.
Rest In Peace



Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, PPD, eow 4/24/05

November 19, 2011

To the Murie family...........I am pleased to see you found this site. I had classes with Bill at NAU and enjoyed his company. I rode with Bill a few times when I was a DPS reserve officer, and was a DPS officer when he died. I was shocked at the news. I always knew Bill was a great family man. He had pictures of his wife and kids on his visor. He spoke of you all often. I have never forgotten this, and it is the most important thing about Bill. He had a saying across the speedometer of his patrol car that he had made with a label maker. It said, "God has everything under control." I thought of that many times over the years while on patrol and thinking about Bill and his tragic death. Great to hear you all have coped and made a great life in spite of the tragedy. He was a great guy, but you already knew that.

Robert Nibecker
Riverside (CA) PD (Retired)

August 24, 2011

One of the prime measures of a father, mother and family is the enduring and honorable qualities that carry forward in that family. So it is in this Murie / McCaleb family and I am honored too to have Eryn in our family.

Ross McGary
Father-in-law to Eryn

July 5, 2011

Nearly 31 years have come and gone since that fateful late afternoon when the phone call came that Bill had been hit by a passing vehicle while assisting at an accident near the rest area just south of what is now Anthem. I was in Kingman, in bed with a difficult pregnancy, staying with Bill's parents. He was enroute the Police Academy for his second week of being a counselor for the next group of patrolmen. He'd spent the weekend with me and the twins. We'd just finished up a mindless game of UNO before he left the house. We always wonder, in retrospect, how that time perhaps could've been spent more productively, more memorably. I don't remember who won that last game. I only remember the darkness that descended upon me and Bill's folks and that the twins, being only 3, were totally oblivious. At the time, I was hemorrhaging. Dad had propped the lower end of the bed up on a stack of magazines to inhibit the inevitable flow of blood. He and Mom left for Phoenix, as Bill was in critical condition at St. Joseph's.
The next day, a patrol car arrived to escort Krista and Eryn and me to the airport where the governor's airplane waited to take us to Phoenix. Two days later, Bill died, having never regained consciousness. My father, who loved Bill like his own son, died later that afternoon. He had been very ill for many months and in a Mesa hospital at the time. The news of Bill's death was just too much for him. I miscarried 6 days later. The funerals were held a day apart and since it was Thanksgiving, my mom's backyard where our family gathered that afternoon was filled with flowers...a very surreal memory. There is now a memorial just south of Anthem off of the southbound onramp. My husband of 28 years (Gary McCaleb)and I always take a wreath at Christmas and flowers on Nov. 19. The pain never goes away. His absence will always be that...absence. His little daughters have grown into awesome, beautiful women. We have much to be grateful for. And foremost in all of our minds is that he never intended to leave.

Gwenn Murie McCaleb
wife

March 8, 2011

Dick and Julie Murie,

I have worked with you both for many years and you are dear friends. I am devistated by your loss. I am very proud of your son Kevin who was my Explorer and is now an officer. God Bless you all. Love you.

Officer Denise Ossarnna
Cottonwood PD

January 16, 2009

Dad, I never stop missing you. KM

Krista McCaleb

November 23, 2008

You are remembered today and thank you Sir for your service

Pat Van Den Berghe, Manchester, NH
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

November 27, 2007

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Sergeant
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

November 14, 2007

Rest in Peace, Officer Murie. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

March 14, 2007

Even though I have never met my uncle, I hope I can live up to his name. He is missed and will always be thought of as a hero.

Officer Kevin Murie
Cottonwood Police Department

December 11, 2006

I never got to meet my Uncle, but from the rest of my family I hear was a good man and a great father. He is missed.

SrA Murie, Christopher
Uunited States Air Force

February 26, 2006

May God bless you and your family. Semper Fi.


AZDPS

November 18, 2005

Another officer gone to soon! We remember. Keep your hand over us as we continue with your memory.

Narcotics Sergeant
AZDPS

November 10, 2005

Even though I was only three years old when my daddy, William Murie, was killed, I remember how much he loved Mom, and how he would cuddle with my sister and me. He was a great daddy, and he will always be deeply loved and missed.

Eryn McGary

February 23, 2005

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