Joseph S. Murray, affectionately called “Poppy” was born on December 13, 1949 to the late Joseph M. and Viola Murry Stevens. He was the oldest of five children. Joseph attended Philadelphia area schools later graduating from Coatesville area school district. After graduation, he attended University of Maryland and Cheyney University. Joseph was intelligent, patient, caring and loving.
One day Poppy asked his grandmother for a sewing machine and from that day on he started sewing for his sisters from his mother’s patterns. He had his own label “Poppy”. If anyone had the pleasure of wearing a Poppy original, you also felt the joy of each one of the stick pins he always left in the garments. Joseph continued sewing for the community from Philadelphia to Coatesville. Poppy later sewed under the organization NAFAB for many years. Fashion was one of things that made him happy. Poppy loved participating in fashion shows missing meals so he could successfully create collections for the shows. He couldn’t walk down the street or watch TV without critiquing fabrics.
Joseph’s final place of employment was working with Growth Horizons as a Program Director. Prior to that, Joseph also worked at Embreeville State Hospital for 11 years. One of Joseph’s greatest joys was working at Growth Horizon and making a difference in their lives. He stayed a dedicated worker, sometimes 7 days a week if that’s what the job called for.
Joseph and Steven met in 1995 and were together 25 years. Although rocky at times, they stuck it out through thick and thin, built a life together, and were married 5 years ago. They remained in love until his last day.
Joseph will be sadly missed by his spouse Steven Hyman-Murray, one daughter Angela Crawford, five grandchildren Tyrell Shuler, Carol Shuler, Jerrell Jackson, Steven Reeves and D’Angelo Reeves; two great grandchildren Kaleah Jackson and Tyleah Shuler; three sisters Vivian Ward, Jean Hunter and Elizabeth Burke; a mother-in-law Arlene Dean; one brother-in-law Anthony (Jayne) Dean, two sisters-in-law Angela Glanton and Diane (EJ) Ezekoye; and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and an aunt. Joseph was predeceased by his father, mother and one sister, Marie Stevens.
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