Cover photo for Sheriff Jennings Murrhee's Obituary
Sheriff Jennings Murrhee Profile Photo
1925 Sheriff Jennings 2022

Sheriff Jennings Murrhee

October 14, 1925 — October 1, 2022

Otto Jennings Murrhee Jr.

October 14, 1925 – October 1, 2022

Jennings Murrhee (96), former Sheriff of Clay County and lifelong resident of Clay County, passed away peacefully with family by his side on Saturday, October 1, 2022.   Jennings was born in Green Cove Springs on October 14, 1925, to Otto Jennings Murrhee Sr. and Kathleen Pigue Murrhee.  He graduated from Clay High School in 1942.  He served two years in the U.S. Army (1944-1946) in the 8th Army Battalion where they set up the 8th Army Headquarters in Yokohama, Japan.  Jennings received the Army Occupational Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.  On December 4, 1946, he married the love of his life, Georgia Walker Murrhee and they had two children, Delores Wilkes and Michael Murrhee.  In 1952, they moved to Belmore (Keystone Heights) and established the Murrhee Ranch where they raised their beloved family.  On the ranch, they ran a turpentine operation, raised cattle, trained racing quarter horses and farmed timber.  Jennings was elected Sheriff of Clay County in 1964, and served for 24 years until 1988.  During his tenure as Sheriff, the department grew in size from 6 employees to 220. He was one of the first two Sheriffs in Florida to place officers in schools.  He also brought the Mounted Patrol into existence, which were volunteer officers.  He established a Youth Resource Unit, the first true 24-hour patrol, and he helped setup the SWAT team and multi-agency Drug Task Force. 

Sheriff Murrhee graduated from the Florida Law Enforcement Academy in both Tallahassee and the University of Georgia.  He was past President of the Florida Sheriff’s Association.  For twelve years, he served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Florida Sheriff’s Boy’s Ranch, Girl’s Villa and the Youth Fund.  He was past Chairman of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Advisory Council.  He was on the original Board of Directors for the Orange Park Hospital.   He was a 64-year member of Melrose Lodge 89 Free and Accepted Masons, and a former member of the 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, Morocco Temple, Keystone Heights Shrine Club and past member of the Royal Order of Jesters, Jacksonville Court No. 90.   He was a former member of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce, American Cancer Society, National Child Safety Council, Clay County 4-H Foundation, VFW, Elks, Moose, both the Rotary Clubs of Keystone Heights and Green Cove Springs and the Florida Cattleman’s Association.  He was awarded the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award and the Boys Scout Twelve Points of Light Award.   Sheriff Murrhee was a founder and a lifetime member of the Clay County Fair Association. 

He will be remembered by his love for the Lord, his family and ranch, his community, and for his constant demonstration of honesty, integrity, dedication and hard work.  Jennings is preceded in death by his loving wife of 64 years, Georgia Walker Murrhee, parents Otto Jennings Murrhee Sr. and Kathleen Pigue Murrhee, brother Richard Murrhee, son Michael Jennings Murrhee Sr., grandson William (Scott) Wilkes and son-in-law Judge William A. Wilkes.  Jennings is survived by his daughter, Delores Wilkes; 5 grandchildren Joey Wilkes, Dana Brock (Greg), Kristen West (Andy), Nikki Jolley (Traé) and Michael Murrhee Jr.; ten great-grandchildren Jennings Wilkes, Anna Veon (Cody), Clayton Wilkes, Tyler Brock, Harper Wilkes, Georgia West, Jacé Jolly, Aubrey Brock, Caroline West and June West.  The family will receive friends on Monday, October 10, 2022 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the Broadus-Raines Chapel, 501 Spring Street in Green Cove Springs.  Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at First Baptist Church of Middleburg (2645 Blanding Blvd), with Dr. Ron Baker officiating.  Interment with Military Honors and Masonic Rites will follow at Hickory Grove Cemetery, Green Cove Springs.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jennings’ name to The Clay County Sheriff’s Office as a benefit for the men and women of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. https://forms.office.com/g/kQKH543tAT

 The family would like to express our sincere appreciation and thanks to Deana Moore, Dr. William Choisser and Haven Hospice for their special care, kindness and compassion. They would also like to thank the Clay County Sheriff’s Office for their support during this time.

Please note if you are attending the funeral service, please be aware of the construction around the church that could add 20 minutes to your travel time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, October 10, 2022

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

First Baptist Church of Middleburg

2645 Blanding Boulevard, Middleburg, FL 32068

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