Celebration of Life
Obituary of Richard McCullough Murphy
Richard McCullough Murphy was born on December 10, 1923 at the Old Wayne Memorial Hospital on River Street in Honesdale PA, son of Warren P Murphy and Olive McCullough Murphy of River Street in Hawley. Richard was raised in Hawley and attended the Hawley Schools.
Richard and his sister, Patricia, pooled their gift money and purchased a pony, named Dodo, who was a great asset for all the kids around.
Richard started peddling the Scranton Republican newspaper when he was nine and would spend summers at Wilsonvillle on Lake Wallenpaupack, riding the pony or his bike in to Hawley in the morning and peddling his papers and then returning to what was called Eppley's landing on Lake Wallenpaupack.
He was graduated from the, then new, High School on Academy Street in Hawley in 1941. The following fall he attended Valley Forge Military Academy Junior College receiving a music scholarship and graduated with an associate's degree in the spring of 1943. At which time he entered the U.S. Army on active duty as a private, having enlisted in 1942 while still attending the Valley Forge Military Academy.
He was sent to Fort Hood in Texas for his basic training and then to Perdue University into the army's A.S.T.P program but didn't finish as he was called to train with the 102nd Infantry Division 407th Infantry Regiment in Texas prior to being sent overseas by Victory Ship to the European Theatre of operation where he served until April of 1946 when he was sent home and discharged.
While in Europe, specifically in Germany, he played the trumpet in a military band and also in a dance band during the occupation of Germany.
One of the highlights of his service was when he was detached to an engineering company and was sent to Holland on the Maas River to break-in 50 HP outboard motors on small boats capable of carrying a squad and then shortly thereafter taking a squad of riflemen in assault across the Rhine River, later that same day he and five other boats tied up to newly built bridge sections and transported five tanks across the river, one at a time.
Returning home in 1946 he attended the University of Scranton for one year and then was accepted at Penn State University where he played the trumpet in the Blue Band for three years and graduated with a B.S. in Economics in 1950.
On December 11, 1949 he married Margaret Mary Carlon also known as Marjorie and Peggy, and together they had five children. Carlon Peter, Susan Margaret, John Warren, James Richard and Samantha Jane.
In 1950 he joined his father Warren P. Murphy in the insurance business and became the sole owner of the Murphy Insurance Agency at the death of his father in 1963. He continued on alone as a broker in the insurance and real estate business until his son-in-law William A. Gabrielson joined him in the insurance business in 1991. Richard stayed an active insurance agent and notary public, working every day, until 2013, when the business was sold.
He served as Adjutant to the Wilson–Kelch American Legion Post #311 and as secretary to its Home Corp for about 15 years. He also was on the board of directors of the Hawley Building and Loan and served as its Secretary for about 16 years until it merged with the Honesdale Savings and Loan in 1976. Richard was also a board member of the Green Gates Cemetery Association for many years.
Richard was a charter member of the Ritz Company Playhouse from its start in 1973 and continued to be directly involved with the playhouse, playing the trumpet for the musical productions, and served as secretary to the board of directors, until he was made a director emeritus in 2017. He was the primary moving force in keeping the building maintained for over 45 years.
In addition to playing trumpet at the Ritz, Richard played with the Dan Bradley Big Band for 10 years and also with the Stardust Swing Band in Middletown, NY weekly at the Senior Citizens Center.
Richard also continued to play the trumpet with the Moonlight on the Poconos Big Band and until his death in July, 2018, he played every Saturday, alternating between the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches for their respective community lunches. He also continued to stay active with the theatre serving as reservations assistant, program printer, and then an usher and ticket taker through the theatre's 45th season.
Richard continued to snow ski, a lifelong passion and was still skiing at the age of 93 in the winter season before his death in July of 2018.
He was predeceased by his parents: Warren and Olive Murphy; his sister, Patricia (Murphy) Gibson; his son, Carlon Murphy and a grandson, Jason Weiskerger.
Richard is survived by his wife of 69 years: Marjorie Carlon Murphy, his sons: John of Sun Valley CA, James of New York City, NY., his daughters, Susan Gabrielson of Hawley PA, Samantha Gilsenan of Bluffton, SC., Grandchildren, Jessica Sutton of Hawley, PA, Jonathan Gabrielson of NYC, NY, Mackenzie Jeffrey of Hawley, Jane Jeffrey of Baltimore, MD, Jeremy Murphy of Texas: Great-Grandchildren, Diana Sutton, Archer Sutton of Hawley, Faith Murphy and Jason Murphy both of Texas.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ritz Company Playhouse, 512 Keystone St, Hawley, PA 18428
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 1 PM at the Ritz Company Playhouse in Hawley.