Best Friends Retire Together

June 20, 2023

Murray and Hedison

While writing the retiree articles, it became obvious that two of the teachers leaving are kindred spirits. The Big Red couldn’t resist making a tribute to Bruce Hedison’s and June Murarry’s amazing, one-of-a-kind friendship. 

Hedison was working in the Hudson School District for six years before Murray was hired. Though it would take a few years for the friendship to form, once it did, they were inseparable.

“We have been friends for probably 15-20 years,” Hedison said.

To the outside world, their friendship seems a little unlikely. Murray is as energetic and infectiously positive as they come, while Hedison tends to lean more toward the sarcastic, sardonic side.

“People can’t believe we are friends,” Hedison described. “She’s all huggy, all loving everybody, and me, I’m a curmudgeon.”

But like so many opposites, it just works.

June Murray, Bruce Hedison, and Betty McMahon at the 2014 graduation ceremony |Big Red File Photo

“We are like brother and sister from different mothers, or that’s what she calls it,” Hedison said.

“He is like my brother from another mother,” Murray echoed.

They both hold high respect for each other and have enjoyed their many years working together.

“I don’t know what my life would be without her,” Hedison said.

“He is my dearest friend,” Murray said.

And perhaps the rainforest brought them even closer.

“I remember saying, ‘I’m going to ask Bruce [to be a chaperon],’ so I go downstairs and I’m like, ‘Hey! You want to go to the Amazon?’ and he’s like, ‘Oh! June, I don’t know.’ and I was like, ‘It’s going to be great you’ve never been.’” Murray said.

Cautious at first, Hedison got on board with no regrets.

“When she and I would take students to the Amazon every year, we’d take 20 kids-30 kids every year, it was just an incredible experience for the kids,” Hedison said.

“We each have our own strengths, I was good with planning all the activities and being the disciplinarian [during the trip]. She was good with everything else.” Hedison said.

Hedison and Murray

Murray saw how Hedison just embraced every moment of the trip.

“And there was never any question that from that point forward ], we would take it together [after the first trip,” Murray said.

As they both came to the end of their teaching career in Hudson, it wasn’t a coincidence that they both retired in the same year.

“We wanted to leave [retire] together, it was a time where we knew it was our time,” Hedison said.

“I think he was probably ready to go last year and I wasn’t and so we had a conversation about that and he was like, ‘Yeah alright I guess I’ll stay for another year.’” Murray said.

“He is somebody super special to me, who just because we are retiring will still be in my life, it doesn’t mean that our friendship is over,” Murray said.

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