Hundreds paid tribute to Eugene J. Murray, who died last week at his home in Rockville Centre, during a funeral Mass on April 6 at St. Agnes Cathedral.
Murray, 93, in office from 1987 to 2007, was the village’s longest-serving mayor. “It is not the length of his time he spent as our mayor that has sealed his legacy,” his son, Francis, who has served as the village’s mayor since 2011, said in the eulogy. “It’s the culmination of his actions, his dedication, his commitment and his passion for all, along with his moral compass that made all residents proud to have him as our leader and representative.”
He was also an active member of the Rockville Centre Fire Department’s for 72 years, serving as a chief from 1977 to 1983.
Community members congregated in his memory at the St. Agnes Parish Center on April 4 and 5, and at his funeral the day after at the Cathedral, where family, friends and fellow firefighters bid him farewell. Two ladder trucks held up a large American flag outside the church and at the corner of Maple and Morris avenues, outside Hook Ladder & Bucket Company No. 1, where Murray was a member.
Standing at attention were about 30 firefighters in bunker gear, Francis recalled. The procession continued past Murray’s home and ended at Macken Mortuary, where he was cremated.
“It was a great tribute to him,” Francis told the Herald. “God bless him. He was a good man.”