Jef Murray (1960-2015) — Nai Eru lye mánata

jef-murray-repose-featured-w740x493It is with deep sadness that I share with you the news of Jef’s passing. To say that we are stunned by Jef’s sudden and unexpected death on August 3, 2015 is an understatement. The last article he sent to us was scheduled and published on Tuesday, August 4, 2015.

Jef Murray had shared his art and original stories with readers of the Integrated Catholic Life since February, 2011 in his popular blog, Ponderings in Elfland. His insights into the spiritual and moral life, told through his work, are profoundly deep and readily accessible. Randy Hain and I are deeply grateful for his many contributions to the mission of ICL and are blessed to have known Jef as a friend.

Jef was an internationally known Tolkien and fantasy artist/illustrator and essayist. His paintings, sketches, and writings sprout sporadically from the leaves of Tolkien and Inklings publications (Amon Hen, Mallorn, Beyond Bree, Silver Leaves, Mythprints) and Catholic journals (The St. Austin Review, Gilbert Magazine, The Georgia Bulletin, The Integrated Catholic Life) worldwide.

His images most recently wended their way into The Magic Ring: Deluxe Illustrated Edition by Friedrich de la Motte Fouque and Black & White Ogre Country: The Lost Tales of Hilary Tolkien by Hilary A. R. Tolkien.

His most recent project included a series of stories (The Framerunners) which can be found at:

Randy Hain and I offer our condolences to his wife Lorraine and all who knew and loved this fine Catholic man of God. The passing of a loved one is difficult for those left behind, but it is to a better place that we all journey. And Jef now is completing that journey with our prayers.

Namárië, Jef. I will keep you in my prayers… Nai Eru lye manata.

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff

"The Brandywine" - Artwork © by Jef Murray

“The Brandywine” – Artwork © by Jef Murray

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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is also the Founder and President of Virtue@Work, where he provides Executive and Personal Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consulting. Deacon Mike has 30+ years management consulting experience in senior executive leadership positions providing organizational planning and implementation services with a focus on human resource strategy and tax qualified retirement plan design, administration and compliance.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two married children and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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