Murray H. Milford

September 29, 1934 – August 20, 2019

Murray Hudson Milford passed away on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. The memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Bryan on Saturday, August 31, at 1:00 p.m. with a reception to follow.

Murray Hudson Milford was born September 29, 1934 in Milford Community, Lamar Co, Texas.  He was the son of Murray Lane Milford and Vivian Ione Hudson. He received his B.S. in Agriculture from Texas A&M.  After serving two years active duty in the U.S. Army Reserve, he returned to Texas A&M University where he received an M.S. degree in Agronomy in 1959.  He received his Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Wisconsin in 1962.

While at the University of Wisconsin, he was active in PresHouse, a Presbyterian campus ministry, where he met a lively and intriguing undergraduate student. He married Marsha Ann Rasmussen July 21, 1961 in Madison, Wisconsin and thus began the great adventure of their 58-year marriage.

Murray initiated his professional career at Cornell University in a post-doctoral position. While there, he advanced to assistant professor then associate professor.  He returned to Texas A&M University and the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences as an associate professor of soil science in 1968, earning promotion to professor in 1974.

For more than 31 years, Dr. Milford taught Agronomy 301 – Introductory Soil Science, introducing nearly 18,000 students to the discipline. He worked hard to match names to faces and was renowned for remembering his students’ names – even years after having them in class. Milford also served as an advisor to more than 1,100 graduate students.

Murray earned the designation of Fellow in the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In recognition of his roles as teacher and advisor to students, Murray received the College of Agriculture Honor Professor Award (1970) and became the firstindividual to receive three University Level Distinguished Achievement Awards from the Texas A&M University Association of Former Students — two for teaching (1972 and 1994) and one for student relationships (1988). He also received the John J. Koldus Faculty Staff Achievement Award (1994), the Agronomic Resident Education Award, the Soil Science Education Award, and the Southern Region Teaching Award. Following retirement in 2001, he was named Professor Emeritus, had his former classroom in the Heep Center named “The Murray H. Milford Teaching Auditorium,” andwas named a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Alumnus (2007).

Opportunities for special service to Texas A&M included serving as a faculty advisor to several Corps of Cadets outfits, serving as the second Speaker of the Faculty Senate, and participating on the Bonfire Memorial Design Selection Committee. His service in the community included long-time commitments to Habitat for Humanity, MADD, and Kiwanis.

Murray loved God and loved serving in the church. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Bryan, TX, serving as an elder, chairing several pastor nominating committees, serving as treasurer, and teaching adult Sunday School. Having lost his own father at young age, he particularly enjoyed having 58 years of marriage with his wife and knowing his children as adults, their spouses, and his grandchildren.

Murrayis survived by his wife, Marsha; his daughter, Becky Jobling and her husband, Jim; and his son, Dan Milford and his wife, Nadia Rosales; his grandchildren: Heather Jobling and Austin, Alexis, and Joshua Milford-Rosales; and numerous other family and friends. Through trusting God, being a devoted husband and father, and working hard, Murray has left a legacy of love to his family, colleagues, and former students. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to First Presbyterian Church of Bryan, TX, Habitat for Humanity (https://habitatbcs.networkforgood.com/projects/29709-donations), or the Texas A&M Foundation (401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas 77840. Please include the account information in the memo line of the check as: account #04-57499 or account name, Marsha and Murray Milford ’55 Graduate Endowment in Soil and Crop Sciences, or go online to https://give.am/MilfordGradEndSoilCrops.)

Cremation services are in care of Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers of Bryan-College Station.

Express condolences at CallawayJones.com

Condolences

  1. I’m sorry to hear of Murray’s passing, Murray was a good neighbor and a real asset to our Sul Ross Neighborhood Association, He will be missed.

  2. We love y’all and will miss our next door neighbor,Murray. May he Rest In Peace.
    Wade & Janet Elkins & Rudy

  3. Dr Milford was my teacher, boss, and friend. A great Christian man and Fightin’ Texas Aggie.

    Bruce Henderson
    B-1 83
    Student, student worker, and TA

  4. I took an introductory soils class under Dr. Milford. Even though everyone referred to this class as ‘Murray Milford’s Mystery Hour’, no one disputed the fact that Dr. Milford was an incredible instructor. In my opinion, he was a genius and knew how to impart his knowledge to his students. In fact, Dr. Milford ranked in my top five professors I studied under during my four years at Texas A&M. Rest in peace, Dr. Milford.

  5. You have my sincere sympathies. Murray was one of the finest men I ever met. I am a 1970 A&M graduate.

  6. Sending my thoughts and prayers to the Milford family. Dr. and Mrs. Milford selflessly served the TAMU and Bryan/College Station communities. So many people around the world have been affected by his teachings of Soil Science, his Christian life, and his (smile) humor.
    He took a risk and hired me – a female – when the university was still some what a ‘good old boy’ scene. I will forever be grateful for knowing and working with him.

    Cathy Anderson

  7. My sincerest sympathy to Mrs. Milford and family. Dr. Milford was my soil science prof at A&M, one of few I found to be a true doctor, that is a teacher! He touched many lives including my own. May you rest in peace Doc. May your contributions to the world ensure plentiful crops for our future!

  8. I’m sorry to hear about Dr. Milford. He was my professor and taught me probably the most valuable lesson I will ever know-the importance of an education. What a blessing he was.
    Beth Ann Hendrix Spracklen
    Class of ‘83

  9. I want to extend my sincere condolences. I met Murray through MADD and knew him to be an absolutely wonderful person.

  10. Has him for Soils 301. Was an awesome man and I learned a bunch I used in my teaching career. My condolences to his family.

  11. So sorry to hear of the loss of a wonderful man. I met him through his support of MADD and found him to be a delight. Very sincere man. Always there when needed.

  12. Murray will be missed in so many areas of B/CS life—his teaching, his church, Habitat, MADD—and by so many friends. We so appreciated his and Marsha’s welcome to us when we arrived at A&M many years ago. What a man of faith, humor, teaching, service, and friendship!

  13. A very memorable professor. So very sorry for your loss. He even remembered my name after 5 years went by when I saw him on campus back in the 80’s

  14. Dr. Miford was one of the first professors that I met when I fist came to A&M as a graduate student
    in the early ’90s. After hearing so many people say that they couldn’t help me with what was a bit of a messed up situation, Dr. Milford was the only one who took initiative and solved the problem. Like so many probably thousands of students, I took his Soils class and later I had the privilege of working for him as a TA. Dr. Milford really cared if people learned, and he brought out the best in so many students. I have always been grateful for the faith that he showed in me. Sadly, I don’t know if I ever told him that directly.

    My condolences to his family. The world will be a little less of a good place without Dr. Milford in it.

  15. Truly saddens me, Murray was the best neighbor & very SPECIAL friend. Our street will never be the same without this very SPECIAL Man.May God be with you Marsha, Becky &Dan. Love you, Cora Etta

  16. Dr. Milford left an indelible mark on my life and countless others. I will always remember him with great respect.

  17. I came to TAMU in 1978 and have dedicate much of my career to teaching. As a young professor, Dr. Milford was my role model. He was a Master teacher and one of the most impactful teachers TAMU had ever had. If he taught you, he knew you, and could call you by name if he saw you years later. Amongst Professors, he may very well have been the most respected Professor on campus. He is a legend in my mind.

  18. Dr. Milford was one of my favorite professors. He was a great teacher with an even greater heart. So many Aggies looked up to him. My condolences to his family.

  19. Thank you Dr. Milford for guiding me through Texas A&M and ensuring that I was the best soil scientist I could be. I fondly remember Soil Science 301 and your guidance during graduate school. You will always hold a place in my heart and I think of you often as I tend my vegetable garden.

  20. Truly sadden the death of a dear friend & best Neighbor
    My heart goes out to his sweet wife, Marsha & children Becky & Dan.Our block will not be the same without Murray
    Love, Cora Etta

  21. Dr. Murray was really an inspiration and a staple volunteer on Habitat work sites. He volunteered with us at B/CS Habitat for most of our affiliates existence! When you came onto a site, he’d be the first to welcome you with a bright smile on his face and was willing to get up on ladders to paint trim, install knobs, and help in any way he could, even up to his last days.

    May God continue to give the Milford family His comforting presence and peace in this time.

  22. I met Dr. Milford 7 years ago when I started at BCS Habitat for Humanity, he was a kind and wise teacher, I was lucky to know him and Habitat was blessed to have this great man share so much of his time, energy and wisdom with so many of the staff and with all the Habitat families. He truly made an impact in our lives and on this organization. You will be deeply missed. Rest in Peace Dr. Milford.

  23. Murray and Marsha were great friends of my parents and we knew them well growing up at First Presbyterian Church in Bryan. My condolences to the Milford family at this sad time.

  24. Mrs. Milford, please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of one so dear to all of us. Dr. Milford was a very strong influence on the lives of so many. He touched 3 generations of young people by his own account. I owe him so very much. He allowed an old man with questionable academics to go to graduate school at A&M. He found a way to help cut the costs of that education by hiring that old man to teach. I loved and respected him greatly. And for all those who ever took his class, they know that dirt is a four letter word. Soil is a dynamic natural body having properties due to the combined effects of climate and biotic activity, as modified by topography, acting on parent material over time. We learned out lessons, Doc. You stand relieved. We shall see you later.

  25. Dearest Marsha and family,
    We were sad to hear of Murray’s passing and for the loss his beloved family and many friends are experiencing. He was one of the very best, and his example and legacy of Christian service will long be remembered. With our prayers and love ~
    Bonnie and Bill Wilkinson

  26. Dr. Milford was more than a Master teacher. He was a friend to his students. I was thinking about him last week. He always amazed me. Within the first week you were in his class, he could meet you somewhere on campus and call you by name. Not only did he know your name when you were in his class, but also 20 years later or more. He also wrote the hardest multiple choice tests I have ever taken. You didn’t guess, you had to know and understand the multiple properties of soil and how they interacted. Great man, great teacher, great Christian. It has been over 40 years since I was in his class and he remained my role model all through my years of teaching. Good bye Dr. Milford I look forward to seeing you again someday. To his family, I hold you in my prayers. May you find comfort in the difference Murray Milford made in this world. We his students thank you and him.

  27. My condolences and prayers for comfort for the Milford family. I took Dr. Murray’s class when I returned to A&M after 14 years in the Army. As an older student I was amazed at his ability to reach and personally get to know each of his student. He was an amazing man, mentor and friend.

  28. Murray was an amazing, dedicated, compassionate man. He loved God, his family and community. He will be missed by all of us in the MADD Bryan office! He taught me so much through his actions serving others.
    – Vicki Mercer

  29. My sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Milford. I was a graduate student in the Soil & Crop Science Department at A&M in the early 70’s and was far from my home in Kentucky. Dr. Milford as all the professors in the department were so welcoming to all students. He was particularly good to all students which was evident by the great number of students hanging out in his office at all times. Dr. Milford was not on my graduate committee but was so supportive to me during my time there (M.S. 1974). Dr. Milford had such a great positive impact on me and so many other students at A&M. RIP Dr. Milford!!

  30. We are deeply grateful for all who have expressed their condolences and shared their remembrances of my father here and on other message boards. Your tributes play a special role both in our healing and in helping us see added dimensions of the man we knew and loved. A fuller obituary will be submitted soon. Meanwhile, we commend the online article from Kay Ledbetter in AgriLife Today.

  31. Murray, it has been far too long … not only did you touch the lives of many students, but young faculty such as me trying to learn the ropes. I always enjoyed and appreciated our conversations. Best wishes to those you leave behind, and safe travels to you …

  32. You, the family, and all the rest of us have lost a great husband, father, teacher, friend and Christian but praise be to God, heaven has gained what we lost. May we all join him there. He will know most everyone’s name and face. He already has a good start on that!

  33. I was saddened to hear of Dr. Milford’s passing. He was a great teacher and outstanding mentor. I had the privilege of being a student and got to assist him with a research project in the summer of 1970. Prayers for the family.

  34. We loved your husband,Dad, Grandpa. Thank you for sharing him with us as our Soil Science Teacher. May you continue to be with GOD and your families all over the USA . Our prayers are with each of you!

  35. Please accept my heartfelt condolences to the Milford family. I was so saddened to learn of Murray’s passing that I find it hard to convey just how much the world has lost when the gentle humble and caring leave us. The impact that Murray left on the many individuals he touched will forever be a part of our lives. He was one of those gifted teachers that students never forget and, in turn, try to emulate. May you rest in peace, Murray, and God be with your beloved family.

  36. Dr. Milford was one of my favorite professors ever. I took soil science in 1975. It was a huge class, but he still learned everyone’s names – and remembered me many years later when I saw him at the Blackland Research Center in Temple where I was working. My condolences to the Milford family.

  37. It was with great sadness that I heard of Murray’s passing. He was one of my favorite professors at A&M in the mid 70’s. I will always remember what a kind man he was. Being from Bonham, TX I was a little lost in my early days on campus. Murray invited me and other freshman from Fannin County over to his house. He fed us and let us know he was always available to help us. In later years he invited my wife and myself to visit when we were in town for a football game. Murray was a Christian man who was a great role model for me as a young man. I will always remember his kind smile and sense of humor. He will be sorely missed.

  38. Frank Himes , Ohio State University

    A reason to attend the Agronomy meetings was to visit with Murray. He always encouraged one to be a better teacher and to enjoy the students. He was also a model citizen for all of us.

    I taught the introductory soils course at Ohio State University for 35 years. The soils unit at Tex. A. M. has lost two wonderful soils faculty; Murray and Larry Wilding..

    Frank Himes, professor emeritus
    Department of Agronomy
    Ohio State University

  39. A reason to attend the Agronomy National meetings was to visit with Murray. He always encouraged one to be a better teacher and to enjoy the students. He was a model citizen for all of us.

    The Dept. of Soils. at Tex. A. M. has lost two outstanding soil scientists and gentlemen; Murray and Larry Wilding..

    I taught the introductory soils course at Ohio State University for 35 years.

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