Dr. Robert Murray


MURRAY, Dr. Robert George Everitt…


February 18, 2022

Peacefully after a full and productive life of honoured devotion to science and family at the age of 102. Survived by his family from his first marriage (with Doris Marchand): daughter Alice Rae of Montreal West, QC; son, Peter (Dianne) Murray of Markham, ON; sister Susan King of Pointe Claire, QC; daughter-in-law Daisy Romero; grandchildren Ian (Alison), Paul (Gaétane) and Robin Rae, Andrew, Ryan and Tommy Murray, and great-grandchildren Amelia and Clara Rae. Predeceased by his first wife of 40 years, Doris Marchand, and second wife of 28 years, Marion Luney, and by his son Thomas Murray. Also survived by his dear friend and companion of recent years, Virginia Hannay of London, ON.

A lifelong microbiologist, he was known especially for his research on bacterial structure and pathology, and for his leadership nationally and internationally in scientific societies and as editor of the major scientific journals in his field in Canada, the USA, and the UK, as founder of the Canadian Journal of Microbiology and first President of the Canadian Society, and as Editor and Chair of Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology.

Having also studied in medical sciences at Cambridge University, England, he obtained his MD at McGill University, interning at Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal. Following a period of service as Captain RCAMC in 1944-45 he obtained a teaching appointment in Bacteriology and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Western Ontario. He spent his entire career there, serving as Professor until his retirement in 1984. As Head of that Department from 1949 to 1974, he established electron microscopy there in 1954 and built an international reputation for bacterial research. He was also for many years (from 1948-1966) Chief of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory in Victoria Hospital, London, and long into his post-retirement years continued to be active as Professor Emeritus.

Numerous honours came his way, including Officer of the Order of Canada, honourary DSc degrees from the Universities of Western Ontario, Guelph, Victoria and McGill, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Active in the International Union of Microbiological Societies, he was past-President of both the Canadian and American Societies of Microbiology, and elected an Honourary Member of each of them, and of the Society for Applied Microbiology in the UK and the Canadian Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Fondly remembered by family, colleagues, former students and friends.

In the face of the exceptional challenges of the last two years, we extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the kindness and care provided by the Richmond Woods' staff, and by Home Instead, especially Lorette and David, and by the St Elizabeth palliative care team.

Special thanks also to Marilynne McNeil and Paul Panabaker for invaluable dedication to ensuring the best possible comfort and care on behalf of his second wife Marion (Luney) Murray (deceased 2013) and with special appreciation to Virginia for the loving care, comfort and company that enriched the last few years of his life.

A Celebration of his Life will be held on Thursday, May 19th, 2022, at the Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre, 551 Windermere Road, London. Visit with family and friends from 4:30 to 7:30 PM. A Ceremony at 5:30 PM.

If desired, a contribution may be made to the RGE Murray Graduate Scholarship Fund in Microbiology and Immunology at Western University, or to a chosen charity. Arrangements entrusted with A. Millard George Funeral Home, 519-433-5184 and online condolences, memories and photographs shared at www.amgfh.com