MISSOULA — Raymond Carl Murray passed away peacefully on April 8, 2018. Originally from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, he was the only son of Henry Carl Murray and Hattie Mindt Murray. He received a bachelor’s degree in geology from Tufts University and went on to earn his Ph.D. in geology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
He began his career as a research scientist with Shell Oil Company then taught at the University of New Mexico before becoming chairman of the geology department at Rutgers University. He left Rutgers to become vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Montana.
Perhaps the greatest achievement of a distinguished career was his defining role in the development of forensic geology, the use of soil and mineral evidence in law enforcement. He wrote, lectured, and worked on cases in the U.S. and internationally, leaving a legacy of fellow practitioners and standards of practice applied around the world. His work was most recently popularized in his book, “Evidence from the Earth — Forensic Geology and Criminal Investigation” published by Mountain Press in Missoula.
He proudly served for 27 years as a member of the City of Missoula Police Commission. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and an enthusiastic collector of modern and antique firearms. He traveled extensively, visited all seven continents, and was always in search of his next adventure.
His wife, Maureen Fleming of Missoula, his son Robert and his wife Donna of New Orleans, and his daughter Martha Roy of Minneapolis and her children Ellen Thompson, Ellen’s husband J.T. Thompson, and Martha’s son John Roy survive him.