Drew Bennett Murphy, Jr., former columnist of "Sights and Sounds" in the Daytona Beach News Journal, passed away peacefully at Coastal Health and Rehabilitation Center, June 29, 2014. He was born in Dallas, TX July 11, 1922. Drew's family moved in 1926 to Atlanta, GA where he spent his childhood. He joined the Army as a clerk in the medical services, was stationed in London during the "London Blitz" in June of 1944 and later was sent to France, as he spoke fluent French. After the war, he returned to Atlanta and graduated in 1948 from Emory University with a BA and MA in English. He spent five years teaching high school English and French. He was awarded a Ford Foundation Grant and spent a year touring Europe, including England, France and Italy absorbing the fine arts. Over the years he traveled often to Williamsburg, VA to visit his brother, Bill Murphy and attend the annual Antiques Forum. As a world traveler, he visited Hong Kong, Israel, Ireland and places too numerous to mention. His parents, Drew Bennett, Sr. and Ila Margaret Murphy, were the owners of the Cadillac Oceanfront Apartments in Daytona Beach. In 1959 Drew relocated there and began a new career at the Daytona Beach News Journal. Starting out as a proofreader, then reporter, by 1967 he had a fine arts column of his own - "Sights and Sounds". He continued his writing for the News Journal well into his late 80's even after his "retirement" in 1987, with articles of personal memories of days-gone-by as well as current reviews of concerts and performances in the arts. His love of the arts kept him very active attending every opera, concert and ballet he could manage, not only as a professional critic but as an enthusiastic patron as well. "Music", he said, "is my passion". He was at one time a chairman of the Seaside Music Theater Advisory Board. Drew received the lifetime achievement "Angel Award" for his contributions to the arts. He was also a long time member of the advisory board at Peabody Auditorium. In 1966 Tippen Davidson of the News Journal assigned Drew the job of writing about the coming together of The London Symphony Orchestra and Daytona Beach. He later became instrumental in the success of the LSO project. As a result, Drew authored a book, "Blind Date", which is a compilation of stories by the people who were involved, including his personal insights into the "love-affair" between the LSO and the people of Daytona. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends and those who were fans of his column. He is survived by his younger sister, Jean Ritzi and her husband, David; nieces and nephew, Frances Black (Doug), Marilyn Williams (Owen), Mike Ritzi (Renae) and Amy Sanger (fiancé, Ted Jones); great nephew and nieces, Steve Black, Abby Sanger and Malia Sanger; great-great nephew and niece, Colin and Tyler Black. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 P.M., on Friday, July 11, 2014 at Lohman Funeral Home Daytona, 1423 Bellevue Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida. His interment will immediately follow at Daytona Memorial Park. The Right Reverend Owen Williams will officiate at the services. Arrangements are under the careful direction of Lohman Funeral Home Daytona. Condolences for the family may be shared atwww.lohmanfuneralhomes.com
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Lohman Daytona Funeral Home
1423 Bellevue Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on July 6, 2014