Memoriam Dr. Nial P. Murray
Dr. Nial Murray, 1927-2016
Nial Murray, MB, BCh,
BAO, FFARCS, the jaunty little Irishman, blessed (or cursed) with the “gift for
gab” (he would readily point out that “he
was NOT a man of few words”), a staff member of the Department of
Anesthesiology at Wake Forest Medical School from 1983 – 1989, was laid to rest
at the columbarium at St. Leo’s Church in Winston-Salem, next to his beloved
wife Marlene, on January 29, 2016. Nial
was born in Downpatrick, Ireland, on December 9, 1927, and ended his earthly
travels at Hughes House affiliated with Pennybyrn at Maryfield in High Point, N.C.,
on January 23, 2016.
Dr. Murray was educated
and trained in Ireland (University and Medical School) and London (Anaesthesia
Residency), then spent several years in different staff positions at various
hospitals, mostly in Liverpool. He was
lured to the United States and the Beth Israel Hospital within the Harvard Medical
System by Henrik Bendixen in 1965, where - with the exception of brief tours in
Tennessee and Florida – he spent the majority of his clinical time. Frank James subsequently attracted him to
Wake Forest in 1983, where he practiced in the Section of OB-Anesthesia at
Forsyth Memorial Hospital until retiring in 1989. Though only 62 at the time of setting aside
his epidural needle, Nial had suffered several physical set-backs his last
year, forcing his decision. One of those
was learning that he had contracted Lyme disease, which was discovered (and successfully
treated) two months after leaving his academic position. Despite his return to full health, he lacked
the desire to continue any further practice of anesthesia.
While in Winston-Salem,
he and his wife were very active in the church and a variety of community
social activities, especially the Irish
Children’s Summer Exchange program.
After retiring they moved to Leesburg, FL, for several years, ultimately
returning to Winston-Salem in 2001 where they felt a greater affiliation to
church and extended family.
While he was a man small
in stature, he was of a huge heart.
Though gone from the clinical area for over 25 years, there are still
several of us who remember his antics, mimicking colleagues behavior to gain a
laugh (especially myself or David Dewan), or his walking in to the Holding Area
in the morning to meet his C/S patient, only to openly comment about how she
was “well-covered”! A fixed presence at
the OB-Anesthesia Christmas parties, he made certain that “no awkward silences
occurred”. He was a man that I
completely trusted and respected, and I was glad that he was my friend. Nial truly had a very good and blessed
life. May he now rest well through
eternity, joined with his truest love, his wife Marlene.
Terrence D. Bogard,
Emeritus Associate Professor of Anesthesiology