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William Randall “Randy” Murphree

Thursday, May 30, 2024
William Randall “Randy” Murphree

William Randall “Randy” Murphree passed away May 25, 2024, with his family by his side at home following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease and lung cancer. He was 67 years old.

Services were held Wednesday at Riley Funeral Home. Burial was in Gentry’s Mill Cemetery.

Randy was born Nov. 24, 1956, in Comanche to Roger Murphree and Netza Jan Rogers Murphree. During his early childhood he lived in McGregor until age 5 when he and his parents moved to Comanche. He attended public school in Comanche.

During his teen years he enjoyed playing football and showing Hereford cattle in FFA stock shows. He was awarded top honors in the Comanche County Livestock Show two years. He graduated from Comanche High School in 1975.

He had various jobs in his early adulthood, sometimes having more than one job at a time. He was a mechanic at Gaylon Abbey’s garage, an oil field worker in West Texas, worked in a peanut plant in Deleon, was a self-employed mechanic and worked masonry with his grandfather, Hollis Rogers, and his dad.

He liked motorcycles and fast cars! His favorite place to test his car speed was Highway 16 south of Comanche heading toward Priddy.

He soon went from driving fast cars to chasing fast cars. In early 1979, he accepted a patrolman position with the Hamilton Police Department and enrolled in Central Texas College Police Academy. In March 1979 he graduated from police academy and began work under Police Chief Cecil Proctor.

Randy met his wife shortly after he began his law enforcement career in Hamilton. Delores Kirkland was a graduate nurse, just beginning her career at Hamilton Hospital. Randy and Delores married in 1979. They had two sons, Jake and John.

In 1983, The City and County of Hamilton combined law enforcement agencies and Randy began duties as Chief Deputy.

Following a brief employment with TXDOT, some private investigating assignments, working for Ealon Scott and as a Comanche County law officer, he wanted to campaign for Hamilton County Sheriff. He won the election against four other candidates. This began a five-term career as Hamilton County Sheriff. Randy obtained numerous awards and certifications during his law enforcement career and met many lifelong friends during this time. Randy officially retired from law enforcement Dec. 31, 2008.

Shortly after retirement, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He continued to battle this disease daily. Randy loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping. He always grew a very impressive garden until the Parkinson’s prevented this activity. Proctor Lake was one of his favorite places to fish with his sons and grandsons. He also liked to fish the Leon River with his good friend Gene Deloach.

Some favorite summer memories were his planned family camping trips pulling the camper trailer to Lake Whitney, Lake Proctor, Ruidoso, New Mexico, and Branson, Missouri. He also enjoyed taking day trips with Johnny Slough and Trace Hendricks riding motorcycles.

Randy continued to “tinker” in his shop after retirement. He would take apart a motor, big or small, and challenge himself to make it work again. He even dabbled in some woodworking, making bird feeders and bird houses.

Randy was preceded in death by his father, Roger Murphree; and his grandparents, Code and Ethel Murphree and Hollis and Gladys Rogers.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Delores; his mother, Jan Murphree of Comanche; son Jake and wife Brandi and children Zeb and Jace of Hamilton; son John and wife Cheryl and children Chris, Ty, Kendra and Kallie of Ingram; his in-laws, Leonard and Ethel Kirkland of Hamilton; brother-in-law David and wife Brenda Kirkland of Hamilton; and a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.