Obituary DetailPrint This Page4/22/2021

Murray M McNair
Wednesday, April 20, 1927  -  Friday, February 5, 2021

Age 93

Dr. Murray Manz McNair of Green Lake, Wis., and previously of Elk River, Minn. died peacefully at home on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.

He was born on April 20, 1927 to Murray and Cora McNair. He lived in Pillager, Minn. and then Brainerd, Minn., enlisting in the Navy before graduating from high school in 1945. His basic training was in San Diego followed by assignment to Chelsea Naval Hospital in Boston, where he worked in the operating room until discharge. Returning home, he attended Brainerd Junior College and then the University of Minnesota Dental School. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude from the university.

Murray met Carla Anderson through his sister Janet as they were in nursing together. Murray and Carla were married in June 1951. Looking for a place to practice, Murray wanted a community close to the university so he could continue his education in orthodontics. He heard Elk River, Minn. needed another dentist and it came to be, first practicing in an office on King Street and then building his own office on Railroad Drive, where he retired in 1992 after 39 years of practice.

Murray served his community and church as a Boy Scout leader, PTA president, library board, Sunday school teacher, United Way, as a Guardian Angels retirement center director and for 36 years as director of the First National Bank. After retirement, he volunteered for Faith in Action, Meals on Wheels and Global Health, where he repaired medical and dental equipment that were sent to developing nations. Murray could fix most anything. While volunteering on the library board he felt the mechanics of the building needed attention, so he acquired his boiler license at the age of 70, taking quiet pride in his high test grade compared with younger test takers.

He and Carla enjoyed the family’s cabin on Mille Lacs Lake, which they had for 36 years. A timeshare on Ft. Myers Beach gave the McNairs respite from the winter. They did some traveling but their trip to Norway seemed most special connecting with Murray’s heritage and family. He also was proud of his uncle Gen. Leslie McNair, a 4-star general in charge of ground troops during WWII; Ft. McNair in Washington, D.C. is named for him. Murray enjoyed classical music and always looked forward to the concert season. He had several hobbies: fishing, painting, stained glass, wood chip carving, reading and gardening. He always had a garden from when he was a boy. It brought him comfort and joy. He was a gracious man of integrity, had many skills and was a child of the depression, saving everything!

Murray is survived by his wife, Carla; son Doug (Cecelia) McNair, Seattle; daughter Mary (Tim) Lyke, Green Lake, Wis.; daughter-in-law Mary McNair, Elk River, Minn.; grandchildren Adam and Andy (Kelsey) McNair, Andrea (Bryce) Aul, Laura and Chris Lyke; great-grandson Cullen McNair; and sister Janet Nelson. He was preceded in death by his son Tom McNair; sister Donna Halac; brother John Ostenso; and his parents.

The family is planning a private graveside service and interment in Minneapolis, with Rev. Jeffrey Dodson officiating. A memorial is being established in his name.

Please visit to send online condolences.

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