SHREWSBURY, Mass. — The Shrewsbury community and Massachusetts State Police are mourning one of their own. Lt. Matthew J. Murray of Shrewsbury died Sept. 14, after a 7-year battle with Multiple Myeloma, a form of cancer. He was 44.
Murray was raised in Northborough and graduated from Saint John's High School in Shrewsbury. He earned degrees from UMass Dartmouth, where he played hockey, a sport he loved since High School. Murray graduated from the Massachusetts State Police Academy in 1992 and became a State Trooper. He would go on to work as an investigator in the State Fire Marshal's Office, and became a supervisor in the office of public relations in 2009.
Murray was known as a leader by his fellow Troopers.
"He was the first to go through a door. To say he was strong willed, that's an understatement," said Murray's friend and colleague, Sgt. James Devlin. "He was a loyal friend. You respected him. You appreciated him. You loved him. He was a trooper's trooper, a man's man."
Devlin said Murray wanted to be a trooper since he was young. "He was extremely proud to be a state trooper."
"Matt put in 110 percent in every shift," Devlin said. "He was an exemplary person who did nothing but try to do the right thing. That's what you want to see in a trooper."
According to a statement from David Procopio of Massachusetts State Police, Murray helped spearhead Toys for Tots collections and charity hockey game to benefit a paralyzed local high school player. He had assisted with media relations duties during a service for slain Woburn Officer Jack Maguire.
"He rarely missed work, at times fulfilling his shifts in the media office before heading into Boston for chemotherapy," Procopio said. "We will always remember his strength in dealing with the adversity life handed him."
When off duty, Murray coached his sons in Shrewsbury Little League and led Cub Scout Den 8.
"He was very much into kids, and in creating a happy environment for them, " said Craig Colonero, a Shrewsbury resident and Murray family friend. "He wanted kids to have good memories. He always stressed that when we were together."
Colonero said Murray was gentle and soft-spoken, but someone children looked up to and respected.
"Matt would want people to live their lives. Every day he focused on friends and family. He was sick for a long time, and I think that gave him a greater appreciation for life. He would want us to pay it forward, and to remember him in a happy – not a sad – way," Colonero said.
In an email, Colonero's son, Dante, 10, wrote of his former Cub Scout leader, "He helped us learn things, and talked to us about police work."
"He was always a really nice person, and I wish he was still here," wrote Dante Colonero.
Calling hours will be held at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors, The Sumner House: 5 Church Rd., On the Common, Shrewsbury Center on Tuesday, Sept. 18 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. before a funeral celebration at Saint Mary's Church, 640 Main St.
Click here to view Murray's online tribute.
Family are asking that contributions be made to the Children of Matthew Murray Fund, and can be sent, c/o, Central One Federal Credit Union, 714 Main St. Contributions may also be made to the Jerome Lipper Center for Multiple Myeloma, Hematologic Malignancies Division, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215.
Murray is survived by his wife, Carla, two young sons, Aiden and Justin, as well as his parents, siblings, nieces and nephews.
Read his full obituary here.