Nelson Whittfield Murray, age 87, passed away on Friday, February 3, 2024, at Dougherty House in Sioux Falls, SD. He was born on January 05, 1937, in Columbia Missouri to Ernest Nelson Murray and Mary Elizabeth May

After graduating from Hickman High School in 1955, Nelson enlisted in The United States Marine Corps and served until 1959. While in the Marines, he played catcher on the USMC traveling baseball team and found a love for the game. He was stationed in San Diego during his time in the military, where he met the love of his life and future wife, Sandra. They got married in 1958 and had three children together, Jeffrey, Jennifer, and Jerold. They also adopted a daughter named Heather.

After leaving the military, Nelson began a career in law enforcement. He started with the San Diego Police Department working as a beat cop – during about 20 years with SDPD he worked in Narcotics, Intelligence, and Undercover. He was hand-picked by the Attorney General for the California Department of Justice and put away some of California’s most illustrious criminals – his work at DOJ culminated in him being promoted to Chief of Investigations for the California Department of Justice. Ultimately, he was appointed by the Governor to lead the California Lottery in Sacramento.

Nelson and Sandra always loved to travel and camp – every year when their kids were young they would fire up the six-pack camper, load the kids and head out visiting friends and relatives across the country! Upon retiring, Nelson and Sandra bought an RV and traveled around the country for almost ten years. They visited many states and lived in places like Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. Later, they settled in Sioux Falls, SD to be closer to their family.

Nelson and Sandra not only raised their own 3 children, but they also raised at least 20 foster kids over the years from infants to teenagers – always open and loving and helping those in need.

Nelson's interests included baseball, camping, playing cards, playing games, traveling, and spending time with his family. As far back as anyone can remember, he was a wiz at the daily crossword puzzle in the local paper and always used a pen! He especially loved coaching his sons' baseball teams when they were growing up.

Grateful to have shared his life are his children, Jeff (Debbie) Murray of Tierra Verde, FL, Jennifer (Michael) Herrmann of Troy, ID, Jerry (Sue) Murray of Newcastle, CA, and Heather Murray of Sacramento, CA; 13 grandchildren, Monique (Nick) Lupkes, Matthew (Justine) Murray, Malinda Murray, Gage (Shaina) Herrmann, Russell Herrmann, Bradley (Anna) Herrmann, Jeffrey (Casey) Murray, Brandon (Arya) Murray, Kelli (Walker) Exstrom, Amy (Brennan) Pomares, Elizabeth Enloe, Christina Stahr, and Alexandria Stahr; 19 great-grandchildren; brothers, Richard (Joyce) Wallace Murray of Montgomery, TX, Chuck (Jodi) Rouse of Montgomery, TX, Will (Maria) Rouse of Anchorage, AK, and Barry Murray of Columbia, MO; sister, Alice (Joe) Callison of Woodlands, TX; sister-in-law, Bonnie Rouse of Fargo, ND.

Nelson was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents, Nelson and Lina Clyde Murray; and beloved wife Sandra.
BADGE 148 & 777
SDPD 07/06/1959 - 06/06/1974
01/05/1937 - 02/03/2024
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