Leo R. Murnan
November 28, 1923 – March 2, 2019
Vigil Service: Thursday, March 7th, 7:30pm at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 4810 Woolworth, with family receiving friends from 6pm to 7:30pm. Mass of Christian Burial: Friday, March 8th, 11am at Holy Cross Catholic Church. Interment: Resurrection Cemetery.
Leo Murnan was born in Omaha, NE to Clyde and Adeline Murnan on November 28, 1923. He was the youngest of five children with three brothers (Charlie, Harold, and Gerald) and one sister (Beulah). He grew up on 23rd Street just south of Martha Street in Immaculate Conception Parish. His mother worked a second job scrubbing floors at Douglas County Hospital so he could go to a private Catholic school called Creighton Preparatory High School. Immediately after high school, Leo was drafted to serve in the US Navy during World War II on a destroyer, the USS Stephen Potter, working in the engine room.
Upon returning from the war, Leo worked for his brother, Charlie, at Murnan Rug Cleaners while attending college. Leo graduated with a BS degree in Business from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. While in college, he agreed to a “blind date” with Claire Marguerite Riley. On June 24, 1950, Leo married Claire, the love of his life, at St. John’s Church. They dreamed of having a large, happy, close-knit family. Within 13 years, the family grew to include twins, Tom and Steve, followed by the birth of Patricia, Jim, Joe, Colleen, Maureen and Kathleen.
Leo started working for O’Keefe Elevator Company. O’Keefe had a side business, O’K Door Company which sold garage doors. Dennis O’Keefe decided he had enough of the door business and asked Leo and another employee, Joe Nothomb, to sell off the stock. Instead, Leo and Joe decided to partner together and start their own garage door company. In November of 1959, Omaha Door Company began at 5501 South 36 Street.
Leo was an ambitious and enterprising man. When his partner retired, Leo became the sole owner and his sons and daughters started to work in different areas of the business as they grew up. In 1975, Leo added a hollow metal door division. In 1980, the business moved to its present location at 4665 G Street. In the 1990s, the name was changed to Omaha Door & Window Company when a window division was added. Leo officially retired around 2003, yet he continued to come into the office every day for ten more years to keep his finger on the pulse of the company. Six of his eight children currently work full time at the company.
In the mid 1950s, Leo invested in the Artwood Apartments at 424 North 23rd Street, next to Creighton University. But in 1965, the Artwood Apartment building was taken by eminent domain for the Interstate system. Forced to find a new home, Leo and Claire bought a four-bedroom brick home in Morton Meadows neighborhood. Leo then bought another apartment at 51st and Capitol Avenue called The GlenArlo in the Dundee neighborhood. Every time someone moved out, the apartment had to be cleaned and remodeled. As Leo’s children got older, they were expected to work every Saturday at the GlenArlo, removing wall paper, painting or plastering, repairing windows, and all sorts of remodeling. Leo entrusted his daughter, Maureen, to manage the GlenArlo Apartments for nearly 40 years. Working at the GlenArlo taught Leo’s children how to work hard, complete a task, and do a quality job. These became life lessons Leo also taught his children by example.
Leo loved the outdoors and shared his passion for fishing, hunting, and boating with his children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends. His family will always cherish the fun times spent with him at his cabin by the lake. Leo modeled his deep faith in God by attending daily mass and fervently praying the rosary daily, serving his church, and helping others. He always had a “project” in which he was helping someone. Often these “projects” were to be kept top secret between himself and the recipients of his kindness. He also cared for the family’s elderly relatives to ensure they felt safe and secure in their senior years. Leo dependably locked up Holy Cross Church in the evenings for 25+ years. He also volunteered to organize Perpetual Adoration of the Holy Eucharist and is responsible for promoting the devotion of the Divine Mercy Chaplet in Holy Cross Parish. In 2010, Leo and Claire were awarded the Holy Cross Celtic Cross Award for their years of serving the parish.
Leo was a loving, devoted husband for nearly 69 years. He worked very hard to support his large family which he considered to be his greatest legacy and proudest achievement. The family continued to grow as all eight children married.
Leo was preceded in death by son-in-law, Bart McGill; grandson, Andrew Murnan; great-granddaughter, Olivia Cullenward. He is survived by his loving wife, Claire. At the time of his death, Leo’s family included eight children: Tom (Mary), Steve (Janet), Pat Hughes (Bill), Jim (Sandy), Joe (Tauni), Colleen Murnan, Maureen McGill (Bart, deceased), and Kathleen Pflug (Marty); 32 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren: Tommy Murnan (Katie), MaryClaire Murnan, Susan Ely (Josh) and Ben, Barrett, Finn and baby Ely, Stephanie Brozek (Jeremy) and Jack and baby Brozek, Kellie Covey (Niles) and baby Covey, Joe Murnan (Carolyn) and Teddy, Michael Hughes (Jessica) and Leo, Terra and Maia, Sean Hughes (Libby) and Isabel, Ryan, Ava and Mae, Bill Hughes, Kate Hughes, Jeff Murnan (Joanna) and Eleanor, Everly and Emilia, Melanie Clendenen (Andrew), Megan Murnan, Matt Murnan, Andrew Murnan (deceased) and Lily, Joanna Cullenward (Brent) and Olivia (deceased), Dominic and Charlotte, Christina Frauendorfer (Derick) and Everett, Emily Ramsey (John) and baby Ramsey, Amy Lien, Chris McGill (fiancée, Ashley Rathbun), Beth Presser (Dan) and Madison and Barton, Erin McGill, Kevin Pflug, Molly Conway (Collin) and Finley, James and Liam, Jenny Pflug (TC Steckelberg) and Max and Koah, Dan Pflug, Monica Ellis (Jed), Tim Pflug, Ryan Pflug, Eric Pflug, Audra Pflug, and Joseph Pflug.