William J. Murphy (Murph)
Grew up in Park Ridge IL, a suburb of Chicago, IL. He was the son of William R. Murphy (Ole’ Boy) and Florence Murphy (The Babe). He had three siblings, Bryant, Cathie & Maureen.
He attended high school at Maine Township South, where he was on the Honor Society and was the class President.
After high school he attended Princeton University where he gained an academic scholarship and majored in Political Science. His big brother Bryant reminded me that Murph worked diligently for his father cleaning and hanging neon signs for various restaurants and saloons, primarily on Chicago’s south side to earn money for books, boarding, etc at Princeton.
After his stint at Princeton, he backpacked through Europe, open-minded, and reasy to explore as he always was. He was very progressive and did not go by conventional norms for the time. He was highly accepting of all cultures and welcomed by all who came in contact with him. He spent many nights throughout Europe eating with families and learning first-hand about other ways of living outside of the typical American mind. During his travel, he met and married his ex-wife in Denmark. She was by no stretch of the imagination, a 6 foot tall bombshell and also a women of great integrity. Murph quickly became fluent in the language via total emersion with her family and friends. Murph was often envied but never knew an enemy. In fact, he and his ex-wife remained friends after their split until her passing in her late 30’s. Murph additionally had a nice relationship with her new husband.
Murph’s nuclear family is one of tradition celebrating holidays, golfing and traveling together as much as possible. They even honor their passed Mom (The Babe) each year around Valentine’s Day, which they have dubbed, Babe Day, originated by Murph’s sister Maureen. Gratefully, William (Murph) had just attended “Babe Day” the weekend prior to his passing. The family is very grateful to see him so recent to his passing.
In 2010, Murph underwent a very risky triple anorectic amorism surgery which was successful due to the renowned Stroger Student Hospital in Chicago, IL and 6 person surgical team. The surgery lasted over five hours and his heart was stopped several minutes beyond the standard. To say Murph had nine lives would be an understatement. Now funny, just one year post his surgery a weight from a church bell which was 6 stories high, weighing over 200 pounds fell onto his car while he was inside just inches from him. The bell crushed the back of the car, which is lovingly referred to as the “Babe-Mobile.” The 1993 Buick LeSabre was restored by Murph and is still on the road to date.
Murph is a person of high integrity. He is the type you could trust but should surely not include in a plan that was less than honest and pure.
His professional career, much like him personally was devoted to serving others. He was a research assistant in economics and member of Internal Affairs. His works were dedicated to the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity; the Gallup Organization and he was Chair: Politics Department Undergraduate Committee and JV Basketball.
His professional career began as a Systems Analyst at Continental bank moving into Performance consultancy in the Blue Cross Association. After his stint in banking and insurance, William became the Senior Consultant for strategic planning and marketing for Playboy Enterprises. From 1990 - 1995 William was a the Chief of Operations Officer for THE WOODLAWN ORGANIZATION, where he gained state case management certifications for the University of Illinois for clinic-based and Catholic Charities and community based case management programs. His works provided grant money for numerous human service programs. In 1995 William became the Planning Director for the CHICAGO HEALTH ADVOCACY COALITION. His work was instrumental for Illinois Maternal and Child Health Care Coalition and Rush’s Primary Care Institute.
William was a Project Manager for the Chicago Department of Public Health. He continued from 2000 – 2004 as a Senior Consultant Strategic Planner for the U.S. Department of Human Services Bureau of This work included: new start, oral health, mental health, HIV/AIDS education and youth HIV prevention.
William’s passion and much of his recent years were focused on writing a comprehensive book geared at better defining the Declaration of Independence and the works of Thomas Jefferson.
Murph moved to St. Louis in July of 2012 with his dearest friend, Tara Frabotta where he resided until his passing. Murph is part of many families, two families in St. Louis which are within Tara’s circle and one within his friend Ed Mueller’s.
To that end, within his first week is St. Louis, he connected with Ed Mueller at the infamous, “White Barn” on the north suburban side on St. Louis. Quickly, Ed introduced Murph to his large Irish Catholic family and friends. Murph and the Mueller group played golf regularly and attended family gatherings together, hosted by Ed’s wife, Debbie. Murph made friends with neighbors, police, political figures and he even took on a security role after his retirement to stay busy. The security company was owned by a member of the Mueller family. Having no children of his own, he was a real kid at heart. He is uncle to many. He was incredibly thoughtful and generous. He always thought of others. He often bought happy meals just to be sure he procured the latest Minion figure for his grandniece, Celine Frabotta.
To date, Murph gave me the most generous gift one could ever receive. He entrusted me with his life. He gave me uplifting notes, caring gifts and things only he knew would be special to the other. He is a man with a huge heart. He has big shoes to fill and his kindness, intellect, wisdom and generosity are not far from a modern day sage. He is my best friend, my soul mate and he will be a voice of reason to many for years to come. The legacy he left is beyond words. He makes everyone who knows him want to be the best person they can be. I will listen for his voice to guide me as I am sure others will as well.
Much love to you wise, gentle spirit. In my heart and many forever. I can only aspire to be more like you and be a beacon to others in terms of service and kindness. You are my hero.