Welcome to the memorial page for

Gerald H. Murcell Sr.

June 7, 1925 ~ January 9, 2018 (age 92)

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January 11, 2018

Gerald H. Murcell Sr.

ATHOL- Gerald H. MurcellSr., 92, of Athol, died January 9, 2018 at the home of his son in Athol.

Jerry was born June 7, 1925 in Vineland, New Jersey, the son of the late Richard B. Murcell and the late Lillian Ross Murcell.

The family moved to Massachusetts and settled in Petersham, where he attended schools, graduating from Petersham High School with the class of 1943 where he lettered in baseball, basketball and track.

He served in the U.S. Army Engineers during World War Two and served in the Pacific theatre- Guadalcanal, Philippines, and Japan before being honorably discharged as a Tech 5 in 1946.

He was raised to the degree of Master Mason in 1948.

Jerry married Virginia Chapman in June of 1946 and they enjoyed 70 years together, raising two children, Christine A. Heipler of Orange and Gerald H. Murcell Jr. of Athol.

Jerry graduated from the School of Practical Art in Boston. He attended Fitchburg State College and received his Teaching Certificate. He attended University of Massachusetts evening school extension courses, as well as study at home Engineering course. He graduated from Antioch University with a Master in education.

He worked, as a draftsman, for Rodney Hunt Machine Company in Orange for 8 years, Millers Falls Tool Company of Millers Falls, Special Gauge Division at L. S. Starrett Company during summer vacations and then on to teaching at Franklin Institute of Boston for 22 years as Associate Professor of Engineering Graphics and head of the Department of Drafting Technology before retiring in 1987.

Professor Murcell designed and made all the drawings and blueprints for a home he had built at Merry Meeting Lake in New Durham, New Hampshire.

Professor Murcell and his wife Virginia wintered at their home in Brandenton, Florida and summered at their home in New Hampshire for 22 years before moving to Greenfield, MA to be nearer their children.

While wintering in Florida, he enjoyed golfing, gardening and the beaches.

During the summer months, while away from teaching, he enjoyed refurbishing and remodeling older homes for re-sale, doing almost all the work himself along with his son, Gerald Jr. (Jett).

After retiring, he went back to his life-long pleasure of painting. His specialty being seascapes and landscapes in oils. He also worked in charcoal, pastels, water colors, tempera, acrylics and scratch board, but he especially liked oils.

He painted many portraits of local citizens and exhibited in galleries and shows in Florida, Maine, Boston and New Hamphire, as well as locally, winning many awards.

Professor Murcell also enjoyed singing and after taking vocal lessons, was the baritone soloist at the Athol Congregational Church and the Dana Vespers services, as well as weddings and musical stage productions.

Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his loving wife of 70 years,  sisters, Ruth Leonard of Concord, New Hampshire, June Shirtclif and her husband, Walter, of North Carolina, and Marjory Vesaley and her husband, Charles, of New Port Richie, Florida; as well as a brother, Richard B. Murcell Jr. of Orange.

He will be greatly missed by his daughter, Christine Heipler and her husband, Vaughn, of Orange; his son, Gerald H. Murcell Jr. of Athol; a granddaughter, Tonya Nicoletti and her husband, Joseph, of Athol; a great granddaughter, Avery Nicoletti, of Athol; a sister in law, Patricia (Gleason) Murcell of Gardner; as well as many nieces and nephews.

A private service will be held at a later date.

Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is directing the arrangements.

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