In Memoriam: Dill Murrell

Dill Murrell, a long time friend of the Saline-Brecon Sister City relationship, passed away August 18, 2004. He was a talented musician and actor, as well as a physicist. Dill was a leader in the Saline Big Band and made a lasting mark on our twinning relationship in 1984 when the Big Band played in the first Brecon Jazz Festival. On the Sunday conclusion of the festival in the Brecon Cathedral, the Saline Big Band premiered the original composition "Hymn for Brecon". Dill had stayed up the entire night on Saturday composing this beautiful piece and its premier brought tears to the entire gathering in the Cathedral. The picture of Dill above was taken at Castell Carreg Cennen during the 1984 Jazz Festival.

Dill was the musical director of over 89 productions and was in the orchestra pit for another 124 shows. He was a mainstay of the Saline Area Players and you can read the Players tribute to him on their website. 

Dill had been ill with cancer for some time but continued to play and conduct. His last performance was as musical director for "Hello, Dolly" at the Croswell Theater just two weeks before his death.

Click below to:

Obituary from the Ann Arbor News

Murrell, J. Dillard (Dill). Musical director, composer and former physicist for N.A.S.A. in Houston, Texas and E.P.A. in Ann Arbor, Michigan passed away Wednesday, August 18, 2004 at 3 pm from complications related to cancer. Dill was born on December 4, 1937 in Church Point, Louisiana, attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, where he obtained his B.S. in Physics and met his wife, Marie, who survives. He is also survived by six children: Mark, Cindy, Karen, Brian, Steve and his wife Dawn, and Simone; and leaves behind six grandchildren: Adam and Mike Edwards, Dan and Lenny Davis, Brenton and Leah Murrell, and one great-grand child, Jacob Edwards. Dill's parents, Happy and Carrie Murrell, and brother Gerard, of Church Point, Louisiana have preceded him in death. Dill had been a consultant to three U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories, the auto industry and Washington D.C. think tanks. He was musical director of 89 productions in southeast Michigan and northern Ohio, played in orchestra pits for 124 shows and played woodwinds with the Manhattan Transfer, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and several pro and semi-pro combos and big bands. Dill Murrell lived his life to the fullest and he died peacefully, with his wife and children at his side. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Visitation will be held at Robison-Bahn miller Funeral Home in Saline on Friday, August 20, 3-8 pm and Saturday, August 21, 11 am- 1 pm. Memorial services will immediately follow Saturday visitation at the same location.
Published in the Ann Arbor News on on 8/19/2004.