University Park Mourns ‘Beloved Husband, Father, Servant Leader’

While the motive behind the shooting death of Christopher Murzin remained unclear at press time, the magnitude of the tragedy did not.

University Park has lost a highly regarded husband, father, and 2008 Citizen of the Year so beloved his family’s photo appears in the front page banner of the city’s website.

In an email, Cade Hamner described his friend as “an incredible husband, father, friend, member of our community, and follower of Christ,” and the Murzins as a “model family in our community.”

The image on the city’s website came from Erin Schreyer, who photographed Murzin, his wife, Christina, and their children Caroline, Dutch, and Jack last year as part of her ‘front porch project’ documenting how her neighbors were spending the earlier days of the pandemic.

She described Murzin as “a beloved husband, father, servant leader, advocate, optimist, encourager, and friend to all, including me.

“He cared deeply, not about the spotlight, but about the greater good,” Schreyer said. “Anyone who knew him couldn’t help but be drawn into his contagious joy, natural warmth, and fantastic smile. His love and dedication to family, community, and others was deep, sincere, and evident. You just wanted to be around him. A consummate gentleman and good guy.”

She and many other community members shared condolences online after a report from the Dallas Police Department about a shooting call at 1:04 p.m. Feb. 11 on the westbound LBJ. Freeway before the South Polk Street exit ramp. Officers found Murzin, 53, in his vehicle with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Witnesses told police that a small silver SUV might have been involved.

Murzin, a medical salesman, moved with his family in 2006 to University Park, where he became known as a champion for people with special needs, including his son, Jack.

Longtime People Newspapers photographer Chris McGathey remembered Murzin as one of the “nicest people I have ever met” and recalled how the father and Jack often attended Scots basketball games together.

Murzin, a former board member of United Cerebral Palsy of Houston, helped identify local accessibility issues. His family’s efforts led to University Park’s first barrier-free playground in Coffee Park.

U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, who represented the district now served by U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, also recognized Murzin for his advocacy and selection as University Park’s 2008 Citizen of the Year.

Murzin and the city received the child impact award at the annual A Child Can Do All Things Luncheon in 2010, MySweetCharity reported.

More recently, Murzin ran for the Place 6 seat on the Highland Park ISD board of trustees in 2017 against Stacy Kelly (who holds the seat now) and Meg Bakich.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

One thought on “University Park Mourns ‘Beloved Husband, Father, Servant Leader’

  • February 26, 2021 at 6:51 pm
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    Citizens who refuse to see the direct link between Gun Rights and the senseless murder of innocent citizens is perpetuating this slaughter. Well-intentioned expressions of sympathy are little more than “clanging symbols” unless and until we look the devil in the face and take specific measures to return to a less violent society

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