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James Walter "Doc" Murphrey

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James Walter "Doc" Murphrey Obituary
James Walter "Doc" Murphrey

Memphis, TN

James Walter "Doc" Murphrey, age 99, passed away March 1, 2017. He was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to the late James Albert Murphrey and Ola Mae Carrigan. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred McCullough Murphrey; his siblings, Dorothy Borman, Roy Murphrey, Evelyn Murphrey, and Hazel Pastor; and his son-in-law, Tom Neill.

Mr. Murphrey began college at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and graduated with a degree in chemistry from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in 1941. He began his career with Dupont Chemical in Memphis and Birmingham before joining Memphis Light Gas and Water as an assistant chemist. He retired after serving over forty years with MLGW. Much of his time there was spent as longtime manager of the MLGW water laboratory. His main responsibility was ensuring that the city had safe drinking water and "he is considered to be the founder of the modern laboratory in use today at MLGW." (MLGW Division Digest, November 2009) The James W. "Doc" Murphrey award was named in his honor and recognizes excellence in water management. Mr. Murphrey held memberships in the American Chemical Society, the American Water Works Association and the Engineers Club of Memphis.

Mr. Murphrey helped found and manage the MLGW Federal Credit Union where he served in various capacities for over twenty-five years, including several terms as president. He was a member of Union Avenue Baptist Church where he served as a deacon.

Mr. Murphrey is survived by his daughters Cheryl Neill of Franklin, TN, Donna Murphrey of Bozeman, MT, and Judy Darnell (Mike) of Franklin, TN; grandchildren Stephanie Hube (Eric), Melissa Webb (Jason), Laine Morreale (Matthew), and Neil Darnell (Whitney); and great-grandchildren Tristan Hube, Colin Hube, Caroline Hube, Carter Webb, Samuel Morreale, Luke Morreale, and Emma Darnell.

Visitation with the family will be 11:30 - 12:30 on Sunday, March 5 at Memorial Park Funeral Home. A graveside service will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Charity Water, a non-profit bringing clean water to developing countries. Send to Charity Water, 40 Worth Street, Suite 330, NY,NY 10013, or go to
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Mar. 3, 2017
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