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Thomas J. Murphy

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BENNINGTON -- Thomas J. Murphy, 78, a resident of Sanibel, Fla. and a former resident of Bennington, died Dec. 18, 2004 at Hope Hospice in Fort Myers, Fla. following a long illness.

Born in Bennington, April 21, 1926, he was the son of the late Thomas J. and Lillian (Kelson) Murphy. He received his education in Bennington and was a1945 graduate of the former Bennington High School. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1944, attended the Navy School of Music and played in the United States Navy Band from 1944 until 1946 and also served aboard the USS Nevada. He earned his BS in agricultural science and animal husbandry from the University of Vermont in 1951.

Mr. Murphy was employed by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service in the role of 4-H youth development director and outdoor educator. He ran the Lindley G. Cook 4-H Camp in Stokes Forest, N.J. Mr. Murphy retired in 1980. During his working and retirement years, he played with various community bands and was known by his fellow amateur musicians as a tuba virtuoso.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Elaine Beckwith Baker Murphy. Also his daughter, Melissa Elaine Murphy-Fletcher; son-in-law, Lucien Fletcher III; granddaughter, Rebecca Melissa Vesperino, all of Blairstown, N.J.; and grandson, Erik Thomas Vesperino of Colonia, N.J. Mr. Murphy is also survived by seven sisters, Catherine Murphy, Mary Frances Murphy, Olga Dunn and Joan Douglass, all of Bennington, Anne Flood of North Bennington, Lena Senecal of Young Harris, Georgia and Barbara Molloy of Arlington; two brothers, Joseph Murphy of Schenectady, N.Y. and Patrick Murphy of Bennington. Other members of his loving family include brother-in-law Peter Williams Baker of Pinehurst, N.C. and many nieces, nephews and their children. Mr. Murphy was predeceased by two sisters and a brother, Margaret McGuire, Agnes Knowles and Leo Murphy.

A memorial service is planned for the near future in New Jersey. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Hospice of Bennington County Inc. through the office of the Mahar & Son Funeral Home Inc., 628 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201.
Published in Bennington Banner on Dec. 21, 2004
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