LAKELAND - Thomas Richard Murphy, 89, went to be with the Lord, Thursday, March 21, 2013, as a result of natural causes.
Born August 17, 1923 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Murphy relocated to Lakeland over 55 years ago. He was an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Marine Corps
, where he served in the Pacific Theater during World War II
. Mr. Murphy was an automobile mechanic and the owner/operator of several area service stations. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Highland City, where he served as a deacon.
He was preceded in death by his wife, of 63 years, Betty J. Murphy. Mr. Murphy is survived by daughters, Dana Houston and Darlene Starling; sister, Arlene Kocsis; grandson, Lance Starling; granddaughters, Lisa Holland, Lori Halyburton, Kim Stetson, Michele Spurgeon and Jessica McMullen; 11 great grandchildren; and nephew, Stephen Swafford.
A graveside service was conducted, in Mr. Murphy's honor, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at Lakeland Memorial Gardens with Rev. Roy Houston officiating. Mr. Murphy's family requests that memorial donations be made to Florida Baptist Children's Home, 1015 Sikes Boulevard, Lakeland, FL 33815.