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Jerry McMurdy, 82, of Harrisville, PA died unexpectedly in a car accident the afternoon of Thursday, February 16, 2023.
Jerry Alan McMurdy was born March 31, 1940 at his Aunt Daisy's house in Franklin, PA to Robert and Betty (neé Wheeter) McMurdy, the first of their 7 children. He attended Rocky Grove High School, graduating in the top 5 of the class of 1958, as well receiving full scholarship to Penn State University to study Agricultural Engineering. He served in the US Army, and was recognized for his expertise in repairing specialized code breaking equipment used in Cold War efforts.
Mr McMurdy spent several years as a vertical bore press operator at Joy Manufacturing in Franklin, PA, and the Cooper Bessemer in Grove City, PA. He eventually left to start his own business, McMurdy Excavating, in March of 1971. His work ethic and expertise were renowned, defining the reputation he built for his business. In 1981, Jerry married Alice Barr, who was not only the love of his life, but also an asset to his excavating business, building together for their 41 year marriage. A larger-than-life figure, Jerry would never turn down a challenging job, especially when no one else could find a solution. While those who worked with him remember just how hard he worked -- and how good he was at it -- they will never forget the way he challenged them, bettered them, and valued their contributions. Many people have come forward to share about the interest he took in mentoring them to meet their own goals.
No other decision changed Jerry's life more than the one he made to dedicate his life to Christ. It permeated every detail, from the way he loved actively and without judgment, to the impeccable morals he presented to a community in need of the pillar that he provided them. He exemplified the selfless love of God in all his actions, rarely expecting a return on the investment he made in those around him. Jerry served as the Music Leader and adult Sunday School teacher at Bell Memorial Wesleyan Methodist Church for more than a decade. Although he never would have considered himself an intellectual, he studied the Bible carefully, always wanting to know more about God.
A master of oral interpretation, Jerry read all kinds of books and poetry to his wife, children, and grandchildren, and committed many passages to memory. He did the same with so many songs and sang professionally for everything from his senior prom to many weddings, including his own. Jerry ran for Congress and was an integral part of his community who helped design the sewage system in Harrisville amongst other major local projects.
Those of us left behind will never be able to express the ways Jerry changed our lives. He is survived by his dear wife Alice of Harrisville, with whom he loved and laughed through every challenge they faced. Also left behind are his four daughters and their families: Rita Simon and her husband Kirby; Sheila Cichra and her husband Alan Vennes; Katie Phelps, her husband Chris and their children: Morgan Phelps, Ian Phelps, Stefany Anderson & her husband Tyler; and Jenifer Mostard, her husband Brian, and their children Bianca & Ezra Mostard. Three of his siblings also survive: Patricia Hughes; Paul McMurdy and his wife Cheryl; and Fred McMurdy.
He is preceded in death by his parents; three siblings: Sheraden McMurdy, Leslie McMurdy, Joelyn Yurchison; his first wife Sharon (neé Fink) Balkom, and one grandchild, Job Mostard.
Please come and share in the family's loss with us. Viewing arrangements will be made at the Jamison-McKinley Funeral Home in Harrisville, PA on Wednesday the 22nd from 6-8 PM, and Thursday the 23rd from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM. A funeral service will be held on Friday, February 24th, at the Bell Memorial Wesleyan Methodist Church in Boyers, PA. A Committal service will be held at Harmony Cemetery in Harrisville, PA immediately thereafter. All are welcome to attend.
If you so choose, memorials can be made to the Wycliff Bible Translators that Jerry supported for spreading the word of God to every nation.