HOLLANDALE — Isiah Murray was born April 3, 1944, in Hollandale, to the late Will Murry II and Charlean Brown Murry. One of 17 children, Isiah was very outgoing and curious about the world.
Isiah was baptized in 1952 by the late Rev. G.H. Hankins at St. Johns Missionary Baptist Church in Panther Burn. Along with many other African Americans, Isiah and family was part of “The Great Migration” leaving rural Mississippi in January 1955 to relocate to Chicago in search of a better life. He met his wife, Ora Staples, in Chicago in 1975 and they married in 1981. They later returned to Mississippi in 1983 and were blessed with three children, Quintarus Murray, Kenya Murray, and one son who passed at birth.
Isiah was a hardworking man with an entrepreneurial spirit. In the early 1980s, he became one of Greenville’s black business owners, owning both a record store (Murray Records & Variety) and a club (Touch of Class Lounge). He loved music and worked for many years spinning records under the name “DJ Iceman.” Isiah knew that he was royalty and always dressed the part by wearing the finest jewelry, donning the most exquisite hats and decorating himself in vibrant attire.
Isiah was a ‘Jack of All Trades’ and held many jobs to economically provide for his family. He was employed by the Washington County Road Department for 22 years and worked for Delta Democrat-Times as a newspaper carrier for 25 years. He also operated his own lawn care business servicing the Mississippi Delta area for over 20 years. Isiah was a cherished elder in his community and when he was not working he found time to support his neighbors with free meals, holiday decorations for their homes, and provision of jobs to those who could not be employed by other means. Later in life, Isiah became a dedicated member of the Freemason, Prince Hall Masonic Lodge Affiliated.
Isiah departed life on Sunday, July 26, 2020.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Will and Charlean Murry; nine sisters, Florine “Baby Ruth” Murray, Rosie Murray, Nancy “Clancy” Murray Pickens, Earner Lee Jenkins, Doretha Murry Shepard, Lenelder Williams, Jennie V. Perry, Edie Chamerman, Berlene Ford; five brothers: Earnest Murray, Jesse Murray, James ‘JD’ Murray, Will Murray Jr., Freddie Love; and one special niece Deloise Murry.
Isiah, leaves to carry on his legacy his loving wife of over 40 years, Ora Staples Murray, of Metcalfe; sons, Terez Wilson, of Chicago, Eric Jermaine Murray I, of Milwaukee, WI, Michael Cage, of Cleveland, and Quintarus Murray, of Metcalfe; daughters, Ronda Battee, of Gary, In, Erica Murray, of Wisconsin Rapids, WI; Cattina McIntosh, of Chicago, IL, Sharon Murray, of Hollandale, LaQueata Jones, of Metcalfe, and Kenya Murray, of New York, NY; brothers, Robert (Joella) Murray, of Fairfield, CA, and Jimmie Norwood, of Chicago, IL; sisters, Bessie (Melvin) Johnson, of Chicago, and Burnestine Patton, of Chicago; and his only surviving aunt, Velma Thomas, of Chicago. Isiah leaves behind a legacy of 10 children, 33 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who love him dearly.