MDM Locomotive Works
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March 16, 1943 - May 6, 2013
James "Jim" Thomas Murray Jr., father, machinist, engineer, designer and lover of trains, died Monday, May 6, 2013, with his wife of 47 years and family at his side in Oklahoma City. Born March 16, 1943 in Boston, Massachusetts, Jim was the only child of Ruth Margaret Murray and James Thomas Murray, Sr. At the age of three the family moved to Clayton, N.M. where he spent his childhood. Jim and his father returned to Boston in 1957 upon his mother's death. Jim attended Boston Technological High School, and later graduated with an Associate's degree from OSU-OKC.
Jim began work with Honeywell as a machinist, and in 1971 was transferred to Oklahoma City, which would become his beloved hometown. In 1976 Jim realized his dream of becoming self-employed when he started Murray Heating and Air Conditioning which he operated until 1991. Jim got into the large scale model train business in 1979 starting Cannonball Enterprises with partners. In 1997 Jim founded MDM Locomotive Works, building 1/8th Scale Diesel Locomotive Models. Jim was an elector for Eugene McCarthy for President in 1976, and was an active member of the Community of John XXIII for many years.
The many organizations that Jim was a member of included the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society, Locomotive Operators of Central Oklahoma, Comanche and Indian Gap Railway, Los Angeles Live Steamers, and most importantly to Jim, the Oklahoma Railway Museum. Typical of the resourcefulness of his life if Jim didn't have the right tool to fix it, he could make the tool to fix it.
He is survived by his wife Anne Marie (Donovan) Murray, beloved twin daughters Ruth Leitner and husband Keith Leitner of Louisville KY, Anne Murray Chilton and husband Jason Chilton of Midwest City, and son Shaun Murray and wife Kristin Balaban of Oklahoma City. We wish to include Jane Silovsky and husband Steve Beckett, children Sophia and Clarice, Joe Silovsky and wife Catherine McRae and daughter Tallulah in the long list of friends that had become Jim's extended family.
Memorial service will be held Tuesday May 14th at 11 am at the Oklahoma Railway Museum 3400 NE Grand Blvd. Overalls optional.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of support can be donated to the Oklahoma Railway Museum in Jim's name: 405-424-8222 or online at www.oklahomarailwaymuseum.org
Published in The Oklahoman from May 10 to May 12, 2013