William "Bill" John Murdock (February 19, 1937 - May 13, 2023)
May 24, 2023
With a heavy heart and a tipped hat, we announce the passing of William “Bill” John Murdock, a true cowboy who rode off into the sunset one last time on May 13, 2023.
Born in the rolling plains of Whitewater, Montana on February 19, 1937, Bill lived a life as vast and free as the landscapes he ranched. A man of grit and grace, his humor was infectious, his love was steadfast, and his spirit was untamed, as wild and free as his Scottish forbearers.
Bill lived and breathed the cowboy way, from sunrise to sunset, under the hot sun and the cold moon alike. Whether it was farming, tending to his cattle, mending a fence, or reading an almanac to predict the weather, Bill committed his hands to a hard day's work.
In his saddlebag of life, Bill carried an unwavering love for Jeannette (Grove) Murdock, whose hair he unbraided in elementary school so he could spend recess with her rebraiding it. Bill and Jeannette enjoyed a full 50 years of marriage raising kids, cattle, and crops. Their love story was one for the ages, as enduring as the timeless prairies and as fiery as a desert sunset.
Preceded in death by his homesteading parents-Alec and Agnes Murdock-originally from Huntley, Scotland, his beloved spouse Jeannette Murdock, his brother James Murdock, his sister Evelyn (Murdock) Hanson, and many aunts, uncles, and in-laws stateside and overseas.
Our “Papa” leaves behind a loving family who will carry on his ranching legacy in Phillips County Montana, including his daughters Brenda Murdock and Zelda Fox, son-in-law Joe Fox, grandkids Clay, William “Cole”, and Cade Murdock, Colt Kornfeld, and Zeena and Robbie Mooney, as well as his dear sisters Ree Simonson and Margie Olsen, among many other nieces, nephews and cousins.
Bill had an unyielding love and commitment for his many friends and relatives in the US, Canada, and Scotland who he visited in person over a cup of coffee or over the phone as often as possible. He was a regular member of many clubs and associations in his lifetime as well. His lively stories of the personalities he encountered and impacted have been recorded in part by his grandkids and will be made available for friends and family to enjoy.
Though he now rides in the boundless pastures of eternity, his spirit remains, lingering in the whisper of the prairie wind, in the rustle of the tumbleweed, and in the warmth of every sunrise that graces our beloved Montana plains.
A celebration of William John Murdock's life was held at the Malta Pavilion in Malta, Montana, on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023. After a dinner in town, family and friends were invited to visit the Murdock Ranch on Lovejoy Road, North of Malta to share his life stories over a fire and a few beers.
Here's to Bill, a true cowboy and an increasingly bold soul. So tip your hat and raise your glass, and remember a life well-lived, a ride well-ridden, and a man well-loved. Ride on Partner!