Date of death: 6/13/2009
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1955
John L. “Jack” Murnen, 80, who coached and directed Catholic youth athletics while helping to run the family’s local mortgage company, died in the Parkcliffe Alzheimer’s Community.He suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, although family did not know the exact cause of death.Mr. Murnen and three brothers operated Murnen’s Mortgage Investors Corp., which was founded in 1938 by their father, Ray Murnen, Sr., and handled mostly residential loans until the firm’s sale in 1995.Outside the business, Mr. Murnen divided his time among family, church, and athletics commitments.He and his wife, the former Rita Stark, settled on Kingsmoor Drive in West Toledo, and in the 1950s he started to referee Catholic Youth Organization basketball games, their son Joe said. He went on to referee at high school games for Toledo’s City League before becoming a coach.His daughter, Margaret Murnen, said their father primarily coached youth baseball and basketball at Christ the King School or Rosary Cathedral School, with a few years of cross-country and track.Mr. Murnen also was athletic director of Christ the King School during the 1960s and into the ’70s, Joe Murnen said. During the mid-1970s, he taught family and religious classes at Central Catholic High.Mr. Murnen was a gifted and nearly lifelong athlete. He played football, baseball, and basketball during his high school years at Central Catholic, from which he graduated in 1946.He went on to Saint Meinrad Seminary College in Indiana, and later St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ont. However, he reconsidered his plans to enter the priesthood after he met a nurse – the future Mrs. Murnen – during a hospital stay for kidney stones.His brother Dick recalled how for more than 25 years he opened Rosary Cathedral for its morning services.Every morning he went down about 5 o’clock to open up Rosary Cathedral, prepare the altar for Mass, and then went home and went to work,” he said.After the sale of the family mortgage business, Mr. Murnen worked for John A. Reger Co., a distributor of religious articles. Mrs. Murnen died in 2001.Surviving are his daughters, Anne Kasbek, Mary Barry, Margaret Murnen, and Beth Murnen; sons, John, Joe, and Jim; brothers, Dick and Ray, Jr., 18 grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.The family suggests tributes to Rosary Cathedral or Heartland Hospice.Information obtained from the Toledo Blade online, www.toledoblade.com, on 6/16/2009.