Feb. 21, 1919 — Feb. 13, 2014
Harry Murphy passed away peacefully at home with his daughter at his side on Feb. 13, 2014, one week shy of his 95th birthday.
Murph (as he was known to all his friends) was born in 1919, the third child and only son of Harry and Alfreda Murphy. He grew up in West Orange, N.J., and spent summers at the family home at the shore where he developed his love of the sea and fishing.
He joined the U.S. Army 29th Infantry in 1941 but received a disability discharge later that year after contracting pulmonary blastomycosis, a fungal infection which resulted in a lifetime of recurring ARD. He returned to civilian life and married his high school sweetheart Helen Hannon. They moved to the Jersey shore where Murph began his 30 year career as a machinist and scheduler for the Earle Naval Weapons Station.
When their second daughter was born with Down Syndrome, Murph became one of the founding members of the shore area chapter of the New Jersey Association for Retarded Children. He worked with Elizabeth Boggs and Assemblyman Alfred Beadleston to enact legislation requiring public schools to provide for the instruction of every educable and trainable mentally and physically handicapped child.
After retiring, Murph and Helen travelled the U.S. in their RV visiting every mainland state, large areas of Canada, and much of Mexico. They moved to Davis in 1985 to be closer to their daughter, although they continued to winter in Arizona and Mexico and summer in Crescent City or Bodega where he could be out on his boat, Murphy’s Law. They also travelled with the Davis Senior Center to England, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy.
Murph is survived by his daughter, Jamie Boston, and grandsons Jeff and Jason. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Berniece and Arlyn, his wife Helen, and his daughter Kathleen May Murphy.
At his request there will be no service. In Murph’s memory, donations may be made to: Special Olympics Northern California, 340 Buskirk Ave. Suite 340, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523.