Guy Murray, a lifelong resident of Vidalia who was employed as a project manager and active in civic work, died Monday of a heart attack.
He also served as Concordia Parish Director of Homeland Security and over the years became one of the most learned observers of flooding on the Mississippi River.
Murray was 40-years-old.
This past spring, Murray announced his first campaign for public office as a candidate for the District 21 House seat being vacated by Rep. Andy Anders. It was Murray’s first venture into politics but a course he had been considering for a number of years.
He was employed for more than 15 years as project manager at the civil engineering firm of Bryant Hammett & Associates in Ferriday.
The Concordia Parish Police Jury named Murray to the post of Homeland Security Director in 2017 based on his expertise in state and federal policies and procedures. Upon the appointment, Jury President Jimmy Wilkinson said Murray was a “great asset” to the parish.
Every week for the past six months, Murray updated Concordia residents on the Mississippi River during an historic high water period. The Mississippi has been above flood stage for 200 days, a record.
During the historic 2011 Mississippi River flood, the Mississippi reached a record level of almost 62 feet. Murray served as project manager for the emergency flood protection for levees, the Vidalia Riverfront area and the town’s groundwater supply.
He served three years on the Concordia Parish Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, and in 2014 was voted “Male Concordian of the Year.”
Murray was the son of Scoop Murray and Zelma Murray of Vidalia, and the grandson of former Vidalia Mayor Sidney A. Murray. The hydroelectric electric plant on the Mississippi in lower Concordia is named after Sidney Murray. Guy Murray said he was inspired by his grandfather's interest in the river and service to the public.
“I come from a family of public servants,” he said in his announcement for state representative this spring, “and they have instilled in me the value of hard work and public service.”
Murray attended Vidalia High School, LSU and Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Natchez.
His wife Kally and three children, Jada, Hayden and Logann, survive him.
Murray attended the First Baptist Church of Vidalia.