Ivan E. Murray

03/03/1937 - 02/28/2018

Ivan Earl Murray passed away February 28, 2018, in Tempe, Arizona. Born in Tucson on March 3, 1937, Ivan spent his toddler years in the mining town of Bisbee. After the death of his father in 1940, Ivan moved with his mother and grandparents to Phoenix, where he attended Kenilworth Elementary School and West High School. After a brief stint at Phoenix College and Arizona State University, he joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve becoming a Public Information Specialist, 9618th Reserve Recovery Squadron.

Ivan lived in Prescott from 1960 to 1965 where he held a number of positions with the Prescott Courier, moving up the ladder from ad salesman to managing editor. He also served as a reserve officer with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and volunteered with the Prescott and Miller Creek Fire Departments.

While in Prescott, Ivan joined the Smoki People of Prescott in 1962 and, serving as a chief from 1981-82, was a member until the organization disbanded three decades later. He was also a member of the Arizona Press Club, becoming vice president of the northern district in the years 1963 and 1964 and president of the local Prescott Press Club in 1963.

Returning to Phoenix, Ivan worked first as business editor for the Phoenix Gazette (1965-1968) and as Public Relations Specialist for Western Electric (1968-1978) during which time he was president of the Arizona Press Club (1969) and Phoenix Press Club (1972).

Ivan returned to Prescott in 1978 where he owned and managed the Prescott Printing Company until 1992. He then worked at Prescott Newspapers as a managing editor for the Chino Valley Review until 1998 when he moved to Ehrenburg and became editor for the Quartzite Times and Palo Verde Valley Times. Before retiring, Ivan was employed as the Public Information Officer at Palo Verde College from 2000 to 2009.

Every place he lived, Ivan was active in his community, proudly serving dozens of organizations ranging from local Boy Scout troops to the Arthritis Foundation to governor-appointed committees. In this unheralded way, he left a positive, yet indelible, mark on the state he loved.

In addition to serving his community, Ivan loved to hunt, fish, and most of all, spend time with Joyce, his loving wife of almost fifty years who survives him along with sons Ian (Denise), Earl (Yuki), Vincent (Lisa), and Matthew (Shellei), daughter Cari Faust (Greg), five grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014.


  • Linda Mahaffey Smith

    I am glad I had the privilege of knowing Ivan at West High. I always wondered what he did after school, and I am not surprised at all to see the service oriented life that served so many. Best wishes to the family. You are in my prayers.

  • Betsy Patterson Todd

    I have known Ivan since 8th grade at Kenilworth and on through West Phoenix High School. As I remember he was pretty faithful about coming to our reunions. He was very interesting and had something to visit about. We would talk about Prescott where we have a summer home and the Arizona and Phoenix Press Club where I believe he knew my husband’s cousin, Sherm Payne. I will miss his friendly face at all our coming reunions.

  • Ivan hired me at the Prescott Courier in 1961 and helped transition from broadcast to print journalism. Not only did he encourage my writing, but helped improve my abilities as a photojournalist. After leafinbg the Courier, our paths crossed frequently. He succeeded me at The Phoenix Gazette; we both served as president of the Phoenix Press Club, were members of the Arizona Press Club and Arizona Newspaper Association, went on to years in public relations and teaching journalism at the college level. More importantly, we became friends. He also sought to show his community how to improve. Well done, Ivan, you were a continuing example of the best of our profession — journalism.

  • Pat (O'Leary) Kelly-Robertson

    I remember Ivan when he would visit Bisbee with his mother and grandparents. We cousins had some fun times. We kept in touch as we grew, both of us marrying and having families. My father and sister and I visited with him and his mother when they lived in Prescott. Over the years, he put forth many efforts to help me and other family members. I will remember Ivan as a kind, hard working man with a good sense of humor. It was an honor to call him cousin. I will keep his family in my thoughts for comfort and strength.

  • Karen Lindley Despain

    My first job out of college was as a reporter for the Prescott Evening Courier, where the late Jim Garner was editor and Ivan was managing editor. They both helped launch my career in the news business. Ivan was a terrific guy, and I cherish my memories of working with him, both in my early years at the Courier and later when he returned to the Courier organization. My thoughts and prayers are with Joyce and all of Ivan’s family.

  • Ivan, my uncle by marriage to my red haired funny Aunt Joyce, was a true man’s man. He was also a gentleman and so fascinating to talk to. His intelligence, dry sense of humor, incredible collection of bizarre and basic knowledge made him a joy to be around. I will miss him.

  • Johnnie Forquer

    I have known you many years and truly respect the service and friendship you rendered to all with a smiling face. My thoughts and prayers are with Joyce and family. Rest in peace old friend.

  • Donald F. Averill, Ed.D.

    Ivan and I came to know each other through his work on the Palo Verde Times and later worked with me as the Public Relations Officer for Palo Verde College. These were changing times as the college was moving to a new campus site and Ivan was instrumental in helping the community to see the importance of having a new comprehensive college in the community. Ivan and Joyce became close friends and shared our time together. Ivan was a valuable friend and will be missed.

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