Vernon S. ‘Smitty’ Murray, 79

Vernon S. “Smitty” Murray, 79, of Frankford, Del., passed away on Monday, May 15, 2017, at Renaissance Healthcare in Millsboro, Del. He was born in Frankford, Del., on July 3, 1937, son of the late Vernon O. Murray and Bertha (Hudson) Murray.

He was a graduate of John M. Clayton High School in Frankford. Murray was a Standardbred race-horse trainer and was partners with his brother-in-law, Gerald Moore Sr., in Moore & Murray Stables in Frankford.

Murray was a member of the Frankford United Methodist Church, where he sang in the choir and would maintain the landscaping around the church, as well as other places. He was also a charter member and past master of Delaware Lodge No. 37 A.F. & A.M. in Dagsboro, Del., 1976, and a past master of Doric Lodge No. 30 A.F. & A.M. in Millville, Del., 1985, and 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason. Murray loved his race horses, especially Valid Sam, Valid Vern and Big A. He was an avid train collector and also repaired them for others. Murray enjoyed gardening and his purple martins immensely.

In addition to his parents, Murray was preceded in death by a brother, Richard Murray; his brother-in-law, Gerald Moore Sr.; a nephew, Ricky Murray; and a niece, Maryann Moore. He is survived by his sister, Marion Moore of Frankford; two nephews, Gerald Moore Jr. and his wife, Tina, and Keith Murray and his wife, Darnell, all of Frankford; and a sister-in-law, Dorothy Ann Murray of Frankford.

A Masonic service, followed by a memorial service, was to be held May 22, 2017, at Melson Funeral Services, Frankford, Del. Interment was to be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggested memorial contributions to the Frankford U.M. Church; P.O. Box 37; Frankford, DE 19945. Condolences may be sent online at