Baylor University Poage Library


By Family

    Hyde MurrayHYDE HERMAN MURRAY, who was born in Iola in on August 2, 1930, died in Iola on April 3, 2009. In spite of congestive heart disease and Parkinson's disease, Hyde loved life surrounded by his family, friends, and dedicated staff at the Iola Living Assistance. He had a brilliant mind combined with a sentimental heart. He was a philanthropist, patriot, artist, and historian. He loved his family, friends, underdogs, and super-heroes. He seized every opportunity to have a party or ceremony. He didn't hold a grudge. He had a sense of humor, and vibrant imagination, and a cache of stories that captivated many a listener. Hyde grew up in Ogdensburg and after graduation from Little Wolf High School in Manawa in 1948, Hyde didn't return to live in Waupaca County until 1997. When Hyde returned to his home town, taking his bride Nancy of 51 years, he stormed Waupaca County with his energy and enthusiasm. He was active in the following organizations: Lions Club, King Civil War Roundtable, Waupaca Toastmasters Club, Ogdensburg Athletic Club, the River Writers at Manawa, Iola Historical Society, Waupaca Genealogical Society, the Manawa-Weyauwega Masonic Lodge 82, the Waupaca County Republican Party, Waupaca County Farm Bureau, Meals on Wheels, Waupaca County Hospice, Waupaca County Bar Association, and the Iola VFW Post 9748. Hyde always found time to connect with people and gained the trust and affection of many friends here in Waupaca County. He made new friends and kept the old, and cherished his high school classmates, as well as all the friendships he kept up while he was in Madison for college, Korea for the U.S. Army, and Washington, D.C. with the U.S. Congress. And along the way he accumulated friends from every place he ever lived. Two months before Hyde graduated from the University of Wisconsin, School of Agriculture in 1952, his dad, Congressman Reid Murray, died while serving his seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Then, two months later he was ordered to active duty with the U.S. Army. Hyde served his country in Korea in 1952-1953. When he returned to Washington, D.C., where his mother lived, Hyde started law school at Georgetown University. Hyde passed the Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. Bar. While Hyde was in law school, he met Nancy Lou Vander Hyde, and they married in August 1957. Hyde began his career and family at the same time. He started working at the House Agriculture Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives as an attorney and their son Reid James was born in 1958. Their daughter Merri Carol arrived in 1961. He served as Counsel and Republican Staff Director at the Agriculture Committee for 20 years. In 1978, he changed jobs and served the House Republican Leadership. He was elected by the House Republican Members five times (10 years) to the highest Minority staff position in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Minority Clerk, Counsel to the Leadership, Minority Floor Assistant Number 1, and Parliamentarian of the Republican Conference). Hyde often joked that he had more titles than an Ethiopian Prince! Because of his passion for helping people to be the best they can, he was active in organizing staff groups designed to train and equip, build expertise, boost morale and show appreciation. He employed his artistic talent for cartooning to inspire and educate his peers. He founded an unofficial job bank for staff vulnerable to the often unkind and capricious nature of politics. He was a co-founder and chairman of three Republican Staff Groups: RAMS, HRSCSA the leHyde Murray adership staff group named Senior Sons and Daughters and a member of the Bull Elephants Club. He was president of the Congressional Staff Club in 1965 and 1977, and Roll Call newspaper Staffer of the Year 1967 and 1987 and Lifetime Congressional Staff Award. He served on the staff of six GOP National Conventions and in 1968 was a Republican candidate for the Wisconsin Congressional seat that his Dad had. He was an instructor of Congressional Process for 12 years at George Washington University, appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, President Capitol Hill Toastmasters, Capitol Hill Civil War Roundtable, and Co-author of the 1996 "Book on Congress" When Hyde left Capitol Hill, his energy and enthusiasm did not diminish. He first joined a D.C. law firm, but after a year, moved to the American Farm Bureau Federation Washington, D.C. office where he stayed six years until his retirement in 1996. Although Hyde was away from his beloved Waupaca County for nearly 50 years traveling around the world visiting 34 countries, he held his hometown friends dear. Hyde was a sports enthusiast and loved to play football, basketball, and baseball. After he turned 50, he trained and finished four Marine Corps Marathons. In the spirit of promoting sportsmanship to the next generation, in 1998 Hyde introduced the first annual "Oglympics" for the kids in Ogdensburg. In September 2006, when Hyde was unable to stay at home, he moved to Iola, where he resided for two and a half years. While he was at Iola Living Assistance, he was keeping up with many of his comrades in Lions Club, Masons, VFW, and the Ogdensburg Athletic Club. He was in regular correspondence with his dear friends from Washington politics, which demonstrated his non-partisan ideology. Hyde completed his autobiography titled: "Memoirs of an Ogdensburg Kid: Presidents, Politicians, and Pals", which will be available later this summer. Hyde leaves behind his loving wife Nancy of Iola, WI, his sister, Kittie Murray of Iola, his son Reid Murray and daughter-in-law Elizabeth, and granddaughter Charlotte Murray of Hopewell, NJ, his daughter Merri Carol and son-in-law Jim Martens of Ogdensburg, WI, his nephews Konrad and Erik Sher, his wife Demitra and daughter Libby, and his niece Jennifer Arnold and her three children Dannah, Vitto, and Sam. Also Hyde leaves behind numerous first cousins. A Funeral Service will be on Saturday, April 18 at 11 AM at 1st Lutheran Church in Ogdensburg with Reverend Blaine Niskanen, officiating. Military graveside services will follow at Park Cemetery in the Town of St. Lawrence. A visitation will be on Friday evening from 4 to 8 PM at the Holly Funeral Home in Waupaca and also on Sat. morning from 10 AM until the time of services at the church. There will be a Masonic service at 8 PM Friday evening. Donations can be made to the Hyde Murray Memorial Fund for distribution to the various causes and organizations Hyde supported.