Patricia Gayle (Pat) Dismukes Murdock, a longtime spokesperson for Texas State University and a tireless community volunteer, died of cancer on Sept. 22.
She was born August 30, 1939 in Elgin and grew up in rural Lee County in a community called Knobbs Springs. After graduating from Lexington High School and later Wharton County Junior College, Murdock moved to San Marcos in 1959 to study journalism and English at what was then Southwest Texas State University. She earned a bachelor’s degree there in 1962 and a master’s degree in guidance counseling and English in 1969.
In San Marcos, Murdock met her future husband, Rennie Murdock, at Wallings Creamery downtown. They were married from 1960 until Rennie Murdock’s death in 1994.
Murdock worked at Texas State for more than four decades including 23 as its news and information service director, a position she held from 1971 to 1994. When Murdock retired in 2007, university president Denise M. Trauth said, “In her long career, she has epitomized the concept of ‘town-gown’ relations … Her volunteer spirit is unrivaled in San Marcos.”
Murdock was an original member of the San Marcos Summerfest Steering Committee; former co-general chairman of the Republic of Texas Chilympiad; former president of American Legion Unit 144; former public affair committee chair for the Texas Special Olympics; and served on countless special observance and event committees including San Marcos’ bicentennial and sesquicentennial celebrations. She is inducted into the San Marcos Women’s Hall of Fame and was the first recipient of the Southwest Alumni Association’s Key of Excellence Award.
Murdock was a member of the LBJ Museum of San Marcos’ board of directors since the museum’s inception. As a young employee of the university, she helped organize the ceremony at which President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Higher Education Act of 1965 on the campus of his alma mater.
Murdock is preceded in death by her parents, Stella Naomi Pollock and Leo Dismukes of McDade and by her husband, Rennie William Murdock.
Murdock is survived by her four children: Gayla Renae Murdock Hill, and her husband, Truitt Hill, of San Marcos; Andrea Leigh Murdock-McDaniel and her husband, David McDaniel, of Oak Leaf; William Bryan Murdock of Austin; and Cheryl Lynne Murdock of Austin. She is also survived by granddaughter Jennifer Hill-Henning; great-grandchildren Daven Henning and Taylor Henning; and step-grandchildren Kate McDaniel and Coy McDaniel. She is also survived by her brother Ray Alec Dismukes of McDade
Visitation will be held 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26 at Pennington Funeral Home, 323 N. Comanche Street in San Marcos. Services will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27 at Knobbs Springs Baptist Church, 1662 County Road 305 in McDade with burial to follow in the Knobbs Springs cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted for a scholarship fund in memory of Pat Murdock. Please send contributions to Texas State University, Advancement Services JCK-480, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666.Email | Print