Michael Joseph Murphy

Michael “Mike” Joseph Murphy was born 4/22/47, to Lester Michael Murphy and Dorothy Jane (Ridgeway) Murphy. He passed away at home on 3/9/22 after a seven year battle with cancer. He was born and raised in Denver, CO. As a boy, Mike was very involved in Boy Scouts, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. In high school, he was a member of the Army ROTC program, becoming a company commander, battalion adjutant, CO of the Honorary Cadet Drill Team, and a member of the rifle team; both competition drill and competition shooting. He graduated from George Washington High School in 1965 and upon graduation, he enlisted in the US Navy.

Mike’s first duty station after boot-camp was the USS Sabine, out of Mayport FL. In 1966, He reported to NTC Bainbridge MD for service school as a Fire Control Technician. While at Bainbridge, he met and married Margaret Hale “Peggy.” After Bainbridge, Mike was transferred to NTC Mare Island for further training, so they moved to Vallejo, CA in 1967, where the couple’s first son Michael, was born. Shortly after, Mike was transferred to the USS Chicago, so they moved to San Diego, CA where their second son George was born in 1969. Mike spent four years aboard the Chicago before being sent to NWC China Lake in 1971. Mike was Honorably Discharged from the Navy in 1973 at China Lake on a Friday and on the following Monday was hired as an Electronic Technician working on the base. By the time he retired, Mike had worked as technician, Project Manager, Branch Head, and eventually, as a Division Head. A fine career of 38 years.

Mike was involved with Boy Scouts as an adult, serving as Assistant Scout Master or committee member for Troops 41 and 848; and being a mentor until his own sons were grown and out of scouting. He was also involved in Little League baseball, serving as assistant coach for two years. He loved to build and fly Radio Control Model Aircraft which he did for 50 years. He was a member of the Academy of Model Aeronauatics and the local flying club, the Desert Valley Vultures. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion serving as the Training Officer and Commander of the Post 684 Honor Guard for three years. He was also very involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ship 4084. He served in every office, eventually becoming the Ship’s Commander (twice) and the District Commander (twice).

Mike enjoyed woodworking (making furniture), scuba diving, playing the 5-string banjo, and golf. He even decided to try his hand at quilting, and found that he enjoyed that too, even joining the Hi Desert Quilt Guild. He was a voracious reader, often reading up to four books at a time. His tastes in reading matter were eclectic – but his favorite subjects were Civil War History, Military fiction, and mystery novels, with a few science fiction and westerns thrown in for good measure. Mike also liked to travel – taking a cruise was his idea of a great vacation. He and Peggy make several trips to Central America and Europe, as well as French Polynesia and Alaska.

Mike is survived by his wife of 55 years, Peggy; sons Michael (wife: Dina) Murphy and George (wife: Pam) Murphy; three grandchildren Jaine, Daniel (wife: Nina), and Cooper, and great granddaughter Juliette; sister Mary Ella; cousins John Milner, Janie Machina, and Carolyn Kerl.

A Wake will be held on April 30, 2022 for Mike at the VFW Ship 4084 1171 N. Alvord St. at 3:00 p.m. Bring your stories. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Cedars Sinai, bladder cancer research.

Story First Published: 2022-04-08