Al Dunker's testimonial to Dave Murray - December 21, 2015
At our Holiday Parties, the NVBA Board of Directors announces the Dave Murray award, given annually to one of our own (most recently, Vonnie Lavendar) who exemplifies "good sportsmanship, friendliness, courtesy, warmth, enthusiasm, humor, and bridge skills." A remark or two is extended by way of honoring Dave (it is, after all, a busy evening and we are eager to get down to playing bridge) and that's it until next year. Those who have joined our unit in the last twenty years, and perhaps some old-timers, might want to know a bit more about him.
He was born in 1921 and passed away in May of 1994 after more than 50 years at the bridge table. I knew him for roughly the last two decades of his life. Opinions differ in this regard, but during this period only three NVBA players edged him out in ability, namely Bob Lewis, Andy Gabrilovitch, and Bobby Gookin. Some of his favorite partners and teammates were Gary Arkoian, Leon Hammerman, Bill Snyder, Hal Holtzclaw, Andy, and Chuck Boteler. Only the latter is still with us.
In the 1980s, Dave, Hal, Ed Lewis and Don Geerhart won the Senior Swiss at our July 4 regional four or five years in a row. Some thirty or so years earlier, according to The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge, he finished second in a national mixed team event. An enviable record! Those qualities attributed to him above were on display not only at duplicate sessions, but also at social gatherings often hosted by the Botelers, the Stengers, the Snyders, and by Dave and his wife, Taddy. Incidentally, I can personally attest to the "warmth" he occasionally conveyed to partners.
He liked classical music, particularly light opera along the lines of Gilbert and Sullivan, and he loved ice cream. Kudos to Marshall Kuschner for championing an award honoring a very fine gentleman.