Cover photo for Menton Murray, Jr.'s Obituary
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1942 Menton 2024

Menton Murray, Jr.

February 21, 1942 — April 8, 2024

Harlingen, Texas

Judge Menton Murray, Jr. passed away on April 8, 2024, at DHR Hospice in Edinburg.

He was born on February 21, 1942, at the old Valley Baptist Hospital on F Street.  He was the first child of Menton J Murray and Betty Nosler Murray, both members of pioneer Valley families from Dayton, Ohio and Terre Haute, Indiana respectively who settled in Mercedes and San Benito in the 1910’s. 

He was baptized in the St. Anthony Catholic Church, attended St. Anthony Catholic School, and graduated from Harlingen High School in 1960, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball and served as sports editor of the school newspaper.  During the next six years in Austin, he earned both a BA and an LLB from the University of Texas.  He was chosen to join the Silver Spurs service organization and was a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity.  He also met Loraine Betancourt and, in 1964, married the “Redhead from Dallas” who would be his partner for life.

After graduating in 1966, he studied for and took the State Bar Exam, making the second highest score of his class.  He began his legal career as an Assistant Attorney General and got over his jitters in court by trying numerous condemnation cases all over the state for the creation of interstate highways.  In 1968, it was time to go home, so he returned to Harlingen. Over the next several years, he had a law practice and served as an Assistant District Attorney.  He also served on a statewide committee which rewrote the Texas criminal code. He coached youth football, basketball, and baseball and imparted his love of those sports to his son Menton Murray, III (Trey) and other boys.  

Things changed in 1980 when he was elected by the Cameron County Bar Association to serve as a temporary replacement for County Court at Law #1.   He discovered he loved being on the bench and resolved to run for the first available court. So, when the legislature created the new County Court at Law #2, he threw his hat into the ring.  Over the rest of his career, he served as judge of that court and both the 357th District Court and the 103rd District Court, even coming out of retirement twice to serve as the temporary judge of both County Court # 3 and a third District Court.  He initiated and oversaw changing the county jury summoning system from paper to computer and allied with District Clerk Aurora De La Garza on that and other projects of benefit to the county.  He sponsored the program that supported students’ visits to better understand the Court system.  Shortly before his retirement from the 103rd, he reorganized the County Juvenile Court and afterward served as judge of that court.  He exhibited integrity, believed in service, and practiced with compassion; he also exhibited a sense of humor that jurors and even a few attorneys enjoyed.  In retirement, he continued to serve as a visiting judge both here and in other counties.

He was both a Eucharistic Minister and a Lay Reader at his church and served on the St. Anthony School Endowment Board for over 50 years.  He was, first and foremost, a Longhorn fan and had the pleasure of attending numerous games, including the 2006 Rose Bowl.  He was intensely proud of giving over 30 years of service to Cameron County.   He and his wife Lori traveled extensively, visiting more than 30 countries to indulge their mutual love of history and learning. He relished being a grandparent and attended many, many choir concerts, ball games, swim meets, and even dance productions.

He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Lori Betancourt Murray, son Menton Murray, III (Trey), daughter-in-law Janey Schwertner Murray, the Grands: Hannah Elizabeth, Menton Murray, IV (Quaid), and Kenady Kate (“Princess”), sister Betty Smith, and three nieces Stephanie Shafer, Sybil Blakeney, and Sarah Johnson.

The Murray family will receive friends and relatives on Thursday, April 11, 2024 from 4:00p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home.   A recitation of the Holy Rosary will begin at 7 o’clock Thursday evening.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, April 12, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Anthony Catholic Church.  Following the Mass, Judge Menton Murray, Jr will be laid to rest at Mont Meta Memorial Park.

Memorials may be made to the St. Anthony School Endowment Fund or a charity of your choice.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Menton Murray, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, April 11, 2024

4:00 - 9:00 pm (Central time)

Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home

1400 US-77 BUS, San Benito, TX 78586

Recitation of the Holy Rosary will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, April 12, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Friday, April 12, 2024

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

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