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Feb. 8, 1948 – May 17, 2013

James J. Murray, a former Catholic priest and an administrator in the Erie County Probation Department, died Friday in his Orchard Park home after a struggle with cancer. He was 65.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of the Diocesan Preparatory School. He earned a master’s degree in theology from the University of Louvain, Belgium, and a master’s in public administration from Buffalo State College.

Ordained as a priest, he served in Holy Cross Church in Buffalo, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Clarence and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in Orchard Park.

In the 1980s, Mr. Murray left the priesthood and became a mental health administrator for Erie County. Later, he was a probation officer supervisor. He retired in 2006. For several years, he also taught a course for drunken drivers at Erie Community College.

An avid reader and a theater and concert supporter, he traveled extensively in Europe and was a dedicated gardener who surrounded his home with numerous gardens. He was a member of the Birthday Group for more than 35 years.

He and his companion of 30 years, William J. Roof, were married in 2011.

Survivors also include three sisters, Mary Goodspeed, Pam and Annie; and a brother, Patrick.

A Memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, 3148 Abbott Road, Orchard Park.