Joseph Patrick Murphy Jr., a man who loved and served his country and community, died May 21, 2002. A longtime resident of Rye, N.Y., he was 85.
Born on January 14, 1937, in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of Agnes Frances (Garvey) and Joseph Patrick Sr. He attended Saint Francis Prep high school, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Francis College, where he was president of student government. From 1955 until 1963, he served in the Marines and during the last two years of service attended Fordham University, where he earned a Master’s in Social Work and was president of student government. He also served in the U.S. Navy for twenty years and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer IV in 1997.
It was at Fordham that he met the love of his life, Camille Susan (Failla), thanks to a dear friend who thought they should meet. They were married on September 19, 1964, and moved to Rye, where they raised their three children.
A clinical social worker, he had a distinguished professional career working in sectarian and United Way agencies, civil rights organizations, childcare agencies, court-affiliated programs, a settlement house, and skilled nursing and mental health facilities throughout New York State. He served as vice president of the Westchester Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
Later in life, he decided to work exclusively with senior citizens and founded J.P. Associates, a geriatric care management group. In 2002, he co-founded the Rye Senior Advocacy Committee, which offered information, advice, and links to services to Rye seniors.
Active in his community, Mr. Murphy served two terms, from 1977 to 1985, on the Rye City School Board, and during that time implemented the NJROTC program at Rye High School. For 30 years, he was head of the Service Academy Review Board for various Congressional representatives, helping eligible candidates gain acceptance at military academies. He was a commander of American Legion Post 128. He was a member and eventual chair of the Conservation Commission/Advisory Council, as well as a Rye Democratic District Leader. For many years he was a lector and CCD instructor Church of the Resurrection in Rye, and, later in life, a eucharistic minister at Church of St. Gregory the Great in Harrison.
In recognition of his contributions and service to the community, Mr. Murphy received the 2006 Distinguished Citizen’s Award from the Office of the County Executive, and the 2012 James A. and Marian M. Shea Community Service Award from the Rye Lions Club.
“Joe was a beloved and respected man who, even to the end, brought laughter and love. He will be deeply missed,” said his family.
In addition to his wife, Camille, he is survived by his daughters, Susan Ricci (Gaetano) and Kara (Dev Viswanath); and five grandchildren, Gabriella, Francesca, Meena, Dev, and Geeta. He was predeceased by his son, Joseph Murphy III.
Donations in Joe Murphy’s memory may be made to Calvary Hospital Home Hospice Care program, 1740 Eastchester Road, Bronx, NY 10461.
A wake will be held May 26 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Graham Funeral Home in Rye. A Mass will be held May 27 at 10 a.m. at St. Gregory the Great in Harrison.