Shirley Ruth Jones Murray

Published 8:29 am Friday, August 26, 2022

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Shirley Ruth Jones Murray, our beloved mother, grandmother, dear friend, and teacher, departed this life, without pain or regret, on August 18, 2022, at the age of 88, after a brief illness.
All who knew this feisty, bright spirit are in grief; but her kindness and laughter are forever written on our hearts.
From the day she was born Shirley lived wide-eyed in wonder, yearning to learn about the wider world, to travel, and to experience. She inspired her three children, her grandson, her wide circle of friends — and a generation of middle school literature students — to dream a little bit bigger and reach a little bit higher than they’d thought possible.
Ever elegant and fun-loving, Shirley held her extended family of friends extraordinarily close, and they feel her loss deeply. As one friend says admiringly, “Shirley sure had moxie — and the clothes to match!”
Shirley was a lifelong East Tennessean, with deep roots in the Blue Ridge, and requested her ashes be spread high in these mountains.
She is survived and much-missed by her son Mark and his wife Kathleen of Knoxville; daughter and grandchild Shannon and her son Daniel Kuleto, both of Napa Valley, Calif.; son Matthew and his wife Lisa of Knoxville; and sister-in-law Pat Jones of North Carolina.
There will be a gathering this fall in Dandridge to share stories and raise a glass to remember our love for this wonderful woman. For now, we hope you will enjoy reading more, seeing photos, and sharing tales of Shirley on
And know that you, too, are the “me” in our family favorite mis-quote of the Bible:
“Shirley, goodness, and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…”

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