James Patrick Murphy passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, February 19 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Known to those who loved him as Jim, he was a gentleman who loved fiercely and always put others before himself.
Jim was born in Niagara Falls, New York, where his bride-to-be, Martha Dean, first caught his eye at a high school dance. A phenom on the football field, Jim played fullback and defensive end on scholarships at two colleges before enlisting in the Navy. He reached the title of Ensign during the Korean War, and then returned to his schooling at the University of Wisconsin. Unable to get that one-in-a-million girl from Niagara Falls off his mind, he proposed to Martha when he was home on Christmas break, and the two married in the summer of 1955. Jim and Martha enjoyed 63 years of loving marriage, during which time they had five children (Colleen, Patricia, Susan, Marilyn, and Jim Jr.), ten grandchildren (Kenton, Robyn, Ashlyn, Amanda, Justin, Rachael, James, Kate, Madeline, and James III) and two great-grandchildren (Lyra and Dakota). Throughout his life, Jim was a constant presence at baseball games and dance recitals, playing the role of cheerleader, chauffeur, and sideline photographer. This was all despite his busy schedule as a brilliant engineer, on the cutting-edge of engineering advances in the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s at Cornell Labs, Teledyne, and Kaiser Electronics. As both a lead engineer and Vice President, Jim was everyone’s favorite boss, never taking himself too seriously and happily the target of office pranks. Jim’s work moved the family from Buffalo, New York to Woodland Hills, California, and finally to Los Gatos, California, where he resided for over 30 years.
Jim is survived by his sweetheart, Martha, and his children, Kelly Levin (Jon), Patty Buller (Marc), and Jim Murphy Jr. (Jeanne). He is now rejoicing in heaven along with two of his daughters, Jeannie and Susan, and his grandson, Kenton. Friends and family are invited to celebrate Jim’s life on Friday, March 1 at 10am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 219 Bean Ave, Los Gatos, CA. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations to an Alzheimer’s Foundation be made in Jim’s name. You can give in his memory here: https://bit.ly/2TiRgZB.