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Michael P. Murphy

Michael P. Murphy Obituary
Michael P. Murphy
Resident of San Mateo
After a courageous battle with brain cancer the last 2 1/2 years, Michael P. Murphy of San Mateo, CA passed away on June 3, 2014 at home surrounded by his family. Michael was born 65 years ago in Yokohama, Japan. Michael spent most of his childhood in Pebble Beach, California, which is where his father retired from the military. Michael received a congressional appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point, where he worked hard and made close friends who would remain so for the rest of his life. After graduating in 1970, Michael went through parachutist and ranger training before reporting to his first assignment in Germany as a Field Artillery officer. He served six years in the Army, earning an Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service and the rank of Captain. He decided to try law school next and graduated from UC Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law in May 1978 and was admitted to the practice of law in November 1978. His first lawyer job was in an insurance defense law firm. He discovered that particular area of the law was not his forte so he decided to take a break, which only lasted about 4 months before he was hired as a deputy County Counsel for San Mateo County in May 1982. He rose through the ranks and was appointed as the County Counsel for San Mateo in September 2007, serving in that position until his retirement in March 2011. He was proud of the work he was involved with as an attorney for the county, which included tireless hours dedicated to successful legal matters associated with the Devil's Slide tunnel, the San Bruno mountain habitat, stopping the dumping of dredged spoils off the coast, and a financial privacy ordinance in San Mateo County, and thoroughly enjoyed working with so many of his colleagues in county government, especially those in the County Counsel's office. While he worked very hard, he also knew how to take a break. In addition to being a devoted husband and caring father, he loved to travel, outdoor adventures, collect and drink wine, read history, listen to classical music, jazz, and music of a more contemporary nature like Springsteen and Clapton, and engage in lively conversations with his many friends. He ran two marathons, was a pretty adept shortstop with his lawyer softball team for many years and when his daughters were younger, he spent countless hours coaching their soccer teams, providing support from the sidelines during their softball games and giving homework help as needed. Although the last two+ years have been challenging, he was still able to do some very special things that he particularly enjoyed, including trips to the wine country, Charleston, Boston and France and spending quality time with his friends and family, drinking fine wine and savoring gourmet dinners. Michael is survived by his loving wife of almost 30 years, Gayle, and his daughters, Erin and Shannon, who he adored. His sisters, Susan, Dorothy and Kate; sisters-in-law, Holly, Kristine and Mary; brothers-in-law, Ron and Rick; and his niece and nephews will also miss him tremendously. A memorial service for Michael will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Burlingame, CA at 2:00 pm, Friday, June 20, 2014. In lieu of flowers, donations to CaringBridge (caringbridge.org/site: MPMurphy), Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund or Cycle for Survival are suggested.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on June 8, 2014
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