Suffolk says goodbye to Henry Murden

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Just as he would have wanted, there was joy at the funeral of Henry Clifton Murden Sr. Wednesday afternoon as his family, friends, co-workers, and city officials said goodbye to the man who was a public servant for more than 51 years. Murden died suddenly at 1 a.m. Monday.

Nearly 300 mourners came to the R.W. Baker & Company Funeral Home & Crematory to pay their last respects and celebrate the life of a man described with a multitude of traits including, strength of character, wit, trust, honesty, a caring, decent gentleman, polite, soft spoken and wise, and helpful to others.

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Murden’s son, Henry C. &uot;Cliff&uot; Murden Jr., spoke at the service, describing his dad’s last hours. He said his dad would love to have seen all the people gathered there; to greet them one by one. He was just that kind of man. He also said his father was uncomfortable during the last couple days of his life, but that he continued to welcome visitors.

&uot;He was always on top of the conversation,&uot; said Cliff Murden. &uot;And, as his son, I will miss his unconditional love for me and my family. I will miss sitting down with him after dinner with a glass of wine and talking with him.&uot;

He smiled as he also told of the hospital admitting room clerk’s mistake while signing the elder Murden into the hospital.

&uot;She looked at the &uot;occupation’ line and said &uot;retired, of course’, Murden explained.

How was she to know that Henry Murden, at the age of a young 84, was still serving after 51-years as the Clerk of 5th Judicial Circuit Courts?

Cliff Murden also shared that his dad would have been embarrassed with all &uot;this talk of him.&uot; He said his dad had also instructed him on funeral arrangements.

&uot;He settled on cremation because he said there probably wouldn’t be enough people to serve as pall bearers,&uot; said Murden, causing a wave of stifled laughter across the packed rooms. &uot;He also said that with all the people running for his seat there would probably be enough of them to carry him.&uot;

At that last remark, the entire funeral home erupted in laughter on that note and as someone said through the laughter, &uot;Henry would have loved this!&uot;

Another mourner, Diana Klink, community outreach coordinator for Suffolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney, also commented on &uot;Henry,&uot; as he was known to all who came in contact with the man described as a kind and gentle soul.

&uot;I am still amazed at something Henry told me a while back,&uot; said Klink.

&uot;He said that back in the &uot;old days,’ he was paid through the fees paid to the clerk’s office and there were times when he didn’t get paid. He made sure his staff was paid but sometimes did without so that his staff was paid. That is truly a man with a servant’s heart.&uot;