Arthur Theodore Murray
1946 – 2024

In Artificial Intelligence circles, “Mentifex” (Arthur Theodore Murray) was bold and controversial. He composed a “theory of the mind” and developed AI based on his knowledge of classical languages. He wrote “AI4U,” “AI for Latin,” and other books. To his death, he wanted this work to be widely understood and useful to others.

At West Green Lake, “Crawdad Man” dove repeatedly into the lake, finding lost objects and playing pranks. He was athletic, entertaining, and legendary.

To family, “Ted” was an eccentric genius. He became fluent in fourteen languages by diverse methods, including subscribing to Pravda as a teen; studying Classics at Blanchet, UW, and Berkeley; and sneaking onto Russian freighters to talk with the crew and give them small calculators. Loyal caregiver in his father’s illness, Ted lived with his father and stepmother Edel Hondl MD for several years.

Ted loved his family dearly even while he struggled to connect. He pranked his family too. He taught his pre-school niece “E equals mc squared” and that it was Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to amuse and astound her parents in the midst of a Hangman game. He also taught her, “Eins, Zwei, Drei, Vier, Lift your glass and drink your beer,” which she practiced to many giggles in the triangular mirrors of the Men’s Department at the Northgate Bon Marche.

To friends, “Arthur” was the guy who read The New York Times and much else. He didn’t care about his social standing or yours. He could talk about anything and always had something interesting to say. He was passionate about fairness and the dignity of everyone.

Parents Arthur A. Murray, MD, and Barbara Yagle Murray, Seattle natives, had Arthur Theodore on July 13, 1946, in Dallas where Captain Murray was stationed to attend Southwest Medical College. After multiple Army moves, including GA, WA, TX, and the Panama Canal Zone, Major Murray resigned his Army commission and moved the family (Larry, Ted, Chris Niblack, John, Roger, MaryAnne, and Jim), to Raymond WA and then to the Seattle area.

In the Army, Sergeant Arthur Theodore Murray served with distinction as a nuclear weapons electronic specialist in both the United States and Germany. After military service, he taught German and Latin at The Overtake School where two of his brothers also taught. Then he worked for a news reading service and a Wallingford news stand before retiring and pursuing his passions full-time.

Ted developed bile duct cancer in late 2023, requiring family and hospice assistance. Frugal all his life, he viewed terminal care at Chris’ condo as a “swanky resort” and was grateful for everything. He died on February 21, 2024 in Edmonds.

Interment is planned at Tahoma National Cemetery. A memorial service will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to love people who think differently, and enjoy them while you can.