Gabriele Murdock, Wife of Financier, Is Dead at Age 43

Times Staff Writer

Services will be held Tuesday for Gabriele Murdock, patron of the arts and wife of financier David H. Murdock. Mrs. Murdock, 43, died Saturday in Los Angeles after a long illness.

She had been appointed by President Reagan in 1983 to the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and was a member of many art organizations, both nationally and locally, including the trustees council of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the advisory council of the School of American Ballet and the board of the Joffrey Ballet.

In 1981, Mrs. Murdock was named to the board of trustees of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, serving as a member of its committees on development, acquisitions and exhibitions, and budget and finance. She was also a board member of the Amazing Blue Ribbon, a support group for the Music Center.

Mrs. Murdock, along with her husband, frequently entertained some of the country's most influential individuals at the couple's Bel-Air home and Hidden Valley ranch.

"Although obviously she enjoyed many material things most people only dream about, they were not that important to her," said Paige Rense, editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest magazine. "Her friends were important, her family was important."

Mrs. Murdock was also a talented interior designer, Rense said, having spent months refurbishing and decorating the Hay-Adams Hotel, a historical landmark in Washington, after her husband purchased it in 1983.

"Basically, she respected the traditions of the hotel. Everything she did was comfortable and warm--she wanted to give the hotel a feeling that you were visiting someone in their house," Rense said. "She did it as a first-rate professional would do it."

Mrs. Murdock served as a board member of Stair & Co., an antique firm; Stair-Murdock Gallery in New York City, and the Regency Club, a Los Angeles private club.

Her husband is owner and chairman of the board of North Carolina-based Cannon Mills, a major manufacturer of sheets, towels and household textiles, and the Los Angeles-based Pacific Holding Corp.

Mrs. Murdock was born in Munich, Germany on Nov. 3, 1941, and came to the United States when she was a young woman. She married Murdock in 1967.

She is survived by her husband; three sons, Gene, David Jr. and Justin, all of Los Angeles; her mother, Mrs. Barbara Bryant; a sister, Gloria Bryant Antalek, and another son, Charles Bryant, all of La Jolla. Before her death, she had been hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic and Methodist Hospital in Rochester, Minn.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the Wee Kirk o' the Heather Chapel at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Glendale.

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