MURPHY, DONALD HUGH, beloved and devoted husband, father, and friend, died peacefully in his home on Sunday, September 1, 2013 in Charlottesville, VA, surrounded by his family and friends.
Don Murphy was born at home on his family's farm near Calumet, OK, on July 19, 1927. His parents were Catherine Ann Murphy (née McCabe) and Leo Roscoe Murphy. Don was the middle son, between John Hugh (born 1923) and James Patrick (born 1932). He attended Sacred Heart Academy in El Reno, OK, Saint Benedict's College in Acheson, KS, Regis Jesuit College in Denver, CO, and the University of Oklahoma in Norman, where he received a B.A. in 1950 and a L.L.B. in 1952.
Don enlisted in the U.S. Navy soon after his 17th birthday in 1944 and was honorably discharged in the fall of 1945. During World War II, he was stationed in San Diego and San Francisco. After the war, he and his brother Jack taught high school in Hardesty, OK from 1946 to 1947.
Don practiced law at the Tulsa firm of Martin, Logan, Finney, Stanton & Moyers from 1952 to 1953, when he moved to New York City to join the firm of Milbank, Tweed, and Hadley (now Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy). All of Donald's five children were born in New York City, John (Dylan), James, Catherine, Daniel and Timothy. In 1958, Don was married to Jane Austin Brown in Louisville. Don and Jane Murphy moved to Evanston, IL in 1964, where Don became a partner in the Chicago law firm of Chapman and Cutler, and where he practiced until his retirement in 1987. Don and Jane then moved to Charlottesville in 1987.
In addition to a distinguished career in the law, Don was a passionate wood-worker, who both made and refinished furniture. He assembled a professional -quality, wood-working shop in the basement of his home in Evanston. He also returned to his rural roots in retirement by purchasing some acreage in Esmont, VA, and clearing some of the land in order to graze a herd of Belted-Galway cattle. His other passions were reading, especially modern and contemporary fiction, from James Joyce to Thomas Pynchon and listening to his extensive library of recordings of classical music. But he always regarded his supreme achievement to have married his beloved wife, Jane Brown, of Louisville.
Don was known to be a generous host and bon vivant, who enjoyed good food and wine. He was a virtuoso at picking up the check faster than anyone else.
Don Murphy is predeceased by his brother, James Patrick and his son, Daniel Leo. He is survived by his beloved wife, Jane Brown, his brother Jack (of Boulder, CO), and his children Dylan Williams (of Shrewsbury, England), James Bernard (of Hanover, NH), Catherine Ann (of Frederick, MD), and Timothy Lancaster(of Seattle, WA); and his grandchildren Oliver and Sam Williams, Maureen and Rachel Murphy-Ryan, Maggie and Richard Nehring, and Leo, Josh and Nora Murphy; and his great-granddaughter, Erin Reeder.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Hill and Wood Funeral Chapel with Father Joseph Mary Lukyamuzi officiating. A memorial service will also be held in Louisville on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Ratterman Brothers Funeral Home, 3711 Lexington Road, Louisville, with visitation one hour prior to the service. A graveside service will be held at noon in Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity, 919 W. Main St., Charlottesville, VA 22903.
Published in The Courier-Journal on Sept. 4, 2013