Howard F. Murphey, 104, a resident at Abington Manor Nursing Home following years of residency at the Willowbrook Senior Living Community and at his home on Beverly Drive, Clarks Summit, and formerly a resident of Scranton, died Thursday evening after a brief illness. His wife, the former Edna May Soulsby Warne, died in 2005.
Born Aug. 20, 1907, in Wilkes-Barre, he was the son of the late Frederick T. and Viola Hoats Murphey. He attended Scranton Central High School and the Scranton Campus of Pennsylvania State University. Before his retirement in 1972, he was employed as a mine foreman with the Moffat Coal Co. of Taylor, and as a conservation inspector with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Howard was the oldest member of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Scranton, and in the past served as head of the church school, a member of the vestry, an usher and greeter; and he and Edna spent many years in the parish kitchen helping the women of the parish make Welsh cookies and in the preparation and serving of parish dinners to the public. His family will cherish many fond memories of Howard and Edna's gracious hospitality at their summer residence at Lake Winola. During his long life, Howard especially enjoyed a special interest in automobiles and airplanes. He was a member of the Masonic Order, 32nd Degree, King Solomon Lodge, and a member of Consistory and the Shrine Club of Scranton.
Howard's family extends its most sincere thanks and appreciation to all the people at the Willowbrook Senior Living Community and Abington Manor for their compassion and loving care both recently and over the past four years, and it is grateful for the services of his longtime physician, Dr. Richard Martin and the staff of Hospice Community Care.
Surviving are six children, the Rev. Canon William T. Murphey, Harrisburg; the Rev. Canon William T. Warne II and wife, Frances, Lake Winola; Elizabeth M. Alani, Bloomington, Ind.; Sandra W. Johns and husband, Willard, Fort Washington; Donna E. Saunders and husband, William, Glenside; and Diane E. Cole and husband, Edward, Clarks Summit; a sister, Eleanor Naeher, Chesapeake, Va.; 17 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was also preceded in death by his first wife, Frances Warne Murphey; a brother, Kenneth Wright Murphey; a sister, Marjorie Gabel; and a great-grandson.
A memorial Eucharist in celebration of his life will be held on Feb. 25 at noon in the Church of the Good Shepherd, North Washington Avenue and Electric Street, Scranton. Following the service, a luncheon will be held in the church's parish hall, during which time family and/or friends may pay their respects and offer personal tributes. The interment of his cremains will be held privately at the convenience of the immediate family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Church of the Good Shepherd, 1780 N. Washington Ave., Scranton, PA 18509. Arrangements by the Howard J. Snowdon Funeral Home of Scranton. For online condolences, go to www.duffyandsnowdon.com