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Steckley-Gooderham Funeral Home Worsley Street Chapel
30 Worsley Street
Barrie, ON L4M 1L4
(705) 721-9921
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John Emmett MURPHY

1921 - 2020
John Emmett MURPHY Obituary
JOHN EMMETT MURPHYAnother of the Greatest Generation is gone. John Emmett Murphy, born June 24, 1921 passed peacefully on March 16, 2020 surrounded by the love of family. He was a husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather and the founder of the "Dad joke". His legacy lives in service to his country and the family members he helped create and shape. He survived the Depression just in time to enlist for WWII. He served in Canada, England, France, the Netherlands and Germany and enlisted in the 407 Demon Squadron, posted to the RAF. Like all vets, the stories were rarely shared but never far away. His service to country was ingrained; as was his dislike of arbitrary authority. He was sure he was the most promoted person in the Canadian forces never to rise above PFC. Kicking over the traces was too much fun. He returned to Canada to finish high school, then St. Michael's College then Osgoode Hall Law School. He also met a dynamo in Hazel Irene Wright. Not wanting to marry until he was "established", they dated for 11 years! They became very good dancers, revelling in Big Band music. They were married in 1958 - with a son coming in 1959 and two daughters in 1961 and 1962. He joined a Barrie, Ontario law firm in 1957 and entered the office of the Crown Attorney shortly thereafter. He became the Crown Attorney of Simcoe County in 1967 and served until retirement in 1983, becoming a Queen's Counsel along the way. He loved the job and the people who worked in his Barrie courthouse. They remember him as the omnipresent, pocket-change jangling, firm-but-fair jokester. He was a longstanding member of the JJ Murphy Assembly of the Knights of Columbus (named for his father) and St. Mary's Catholic Church in Barrie. He was a long-time volunteer coach to Barrie youth in flag football and minor hockey who will remember him for his dedication to the principles of effort, determination and playing your position. He is survived by his dear wife, Hazel, his son, Tim (Jane Thompson), daughters, Colleen, Christanne (John Lewis), his sister, Anne Kunkel, grandchildren Kaleigh, Courtney and Sam, Emma, Patrick and Thomas and great grandchild, Damon, with one more on the way and the extended family, including Rosemarie, Michelle and David Morin. His sisters, Kathleen and Rosemarie and his brother Michael predeceased him. A Celebration of Life will be held in his honour once the current circumstances are resolved. Funeral arrangements entrusted to the Steckley-Gooderham Funeral Home, 30 Worsley St., Barrie. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes can be made directly to a charity of your choice. Online condolences and memories may be left at
Published in The Globe and Mail from Mar. 20 to Mar. 24, 2020
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