The Reverend Joel Williams Murchison of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilmington, North Carolina, died peacefully on June 10, 2018, in Chattanooga at Alexian Village after a short illness.
He enjoyed a full, active life until early May and was attended throughout his illness by his devoted friend Michael Thompson.
Bill, as he was known, was born July 27, 1924, Wilmington, NC; son of David and May Murchison of Wilmington. One of five children, he was preceded by his siblings, David Reid Murchison, Jr., Wallace Carmichael Murchison and Loulie Murchison Eggleston. His younger brother, John Reid Murchison, is the only living survivor.
At the age of 11, Bill attended The Choir School of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City. At the age of 14 he then went on to South Kent School in Connecticut. His college education at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was interrupted by a four-year tour in the US Navy, where he attained the rank of Ensign, serving in the South Pacific until the war ended.
Bill returned to UNC in 1947 and graduated with a BS in the Business School. After three years working for Burlington Mills, Bill felt called to enter the ministry and graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary as president of his senior class.
Bill’s first clergy assignment was St. Columba Episcopal Church, Detroit. Later, he entered the missionary field in Central America. Bill returned to New York City where he spent the remainder of his ministry, first as a chaplain to inmates in several of the city’s prisons, and later as a chaplain and recreation director for residents of a large continuing care retirement community called Amsterdam House.
He and his partner Hugo Talliaferro, retired to Lookout Mountain, where they restored the Talliaferro homestead.
Bill was a faithful and devoted member of Christ Church Episcopal, Chattanooga.
His funeral will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, at Christ Church, 663 Douglas Street, Chattanooga, Tn. 37403.
Memorials can be given to Christ Church Music Fund, Chattanooga.
Arrangements are by John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 622-9995