Skip to main content

Murray Journal

‘Grande Dame of Murray’ Passes Away

Mar 13, 2015 12:43PM ● By Peri Kinder

Arlette Day shares a fun moment with former Murray Mayor Dan Snarr during the Original Song Competition in 2013 on her 97th birthday.

Day Murray Music is located in a small, unassuming building sitting at 4914 South State Street. But there’s a good chance that every musically-inclined person in the city, and possibly the county, has been inside the store at some point during its 68 years of business in Murray. 

And there’s a good chance that the majority of those people visiting the music store interacted with Arlette Hart Day, who started the business with her husband, John, in 1946. Day worked in her store for 53 years before retiring at the age of 83. 

On Feb. 17, Day passed away at the age of 98 after battling cancer for six months. She is survived by her three children, 13 grandchildren and 30-plus great-grandchildren. She is also survived by the thousands of people touched by her love of music.

Day’s funeral was attended by many dignitaries in the community, including former Murray Mayor Dan Snarr who spoke at her service. “Arlette was willing to do so much to make the community better, to influence the quality of life in the city we live in,” he said. 

As the first woman president of the Murray Chamber of Commerce, Day was civic-minded and dedicated to the city. She was named The Fourth of July Bi-Centennial Parade chairperson in 1976, served on the library board for several years and was named “Woman of the Year” in 1984 by the Green Sheet newspaper. 

Day worked to find a home for Murray senior citizens, which later became the Heritage Center, and she played Mrs. Claus for 24 years at holiday celebrations. Her love for music carried into her community service as she became the Murray Symphony Executive Director and a charter member of the Murray Arts Council. 

In 2003, Day was presented with the Governor’s award in the Humanities, and she was the first person inducted into the Murray Mayor’s Hall of Honor. Day was considered a legend in the community with accomplishments, contributions and influences too many to mention.

“Arlette paved the way for the arts and history programs in Murray, providing the foundation that allowed these programs to grow,” Murray Cultural Arts Director Mary Ann Kirk said. “Without her vision and personal commitment, it is highly unlikely the Murray Park amphitheater, the Murray Symphony, and the Murray Museum would exist today.”

When she turned 97 in 2013, Day Murray Music held an Original Song Competition to encourage musicians, singers and songwriters, and the Arlette Day Deserving Student Music Scholarship was announced to assist music students of any age.

Her family commended Day for her tireless work for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Day served a church mission, taught numerous religious courses over the years and worked with Primary children until she was almost 90 years old.