MARTIN E. MURPHY
On Thursday February 16th, 2023, my beloved husband Marty Murphy left his courageous 11 year battle with Alzheimer’s behind, and was promotedinto the waiting arms of his loving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Martin E. Murphy (Marty or Murph) was born on February 11, 1947 in Rochester, NY to Helene and Joseph Murphy. He was the youngest, with his beloved brothers John and Bernie leading the way. Marty and his family lived in the predominantly Irish Catholic 19th Ward of Rochester,NY. His family moral values were built on love, laughter, prayer, and respect. Marty was so influenced by his family values that he wrote a book entitled “It Was a Simpler Time – It Was the Best of Times” describing growing up in a very loving and supportive family, attending school, playing baseball, spending time with cousins, and enjoying vacations at different lakes in Upper State New York. Marty experienced dyslexia and struggled in school, but he persevered and graduated from West High School in 1965, much to the surprise of some of his biggest critics, his educators! Marty would later prove them wrong about their predictions for him! After graduation, Marty enlisted in the Army, before being draftedfor the Vietnam War. He was assigned to the Signal Corps and attained a top-secret clearance. When he arrived in Vietnam, there was no longer a need for the work he trained for, so he volunteered to be a courier for top-secret correspondence. Each day, he and another soldier would drive approximately 60 miles through a thick rubber tree jungle, with snipers shooting at them along the way. He saw horrific casualties and was exposed to the toxin Agent Orange daily, which we believe was a cause ofhis Alzheimer’s disease. Marty served in Vietnam until 1968, when he was honorably discharged. Sadly, some of his hardest times were encountered when he and his fellow GIs arrived back home. In 1996,Marty attended a Christian concert where all Vietnam Veterans were asked to stand. This was the first time Marty had ever been acknowledged for his sacrifice and service to the USA. It meant the world to him. Marty was a true American Patriot and loved his country.
Shortly after returning from Vietnam, Marty moved to Colorado andenrolled at Arapahoe Community College, where he persevered to learn to read, and became a great student. That led to enrolling at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Business in 1972. In 1974, Marty moved to Greeley, Colorado to attend the University of Northern Colorado, graduating in 1976 with a master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis on teaching emotionally challenged children. Marty’s parents were so proud of him! Receiving these degrees, along with an Administrative degree later, was proof to never give up on struggling students and he demonstrated that every day of his career. During this time in Colorado, Marty met his lifelong friends Mark and Marcia VanSkiver, and this friendship would continue for the next 53 years. Marty and Mark also met and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior together during this time. No words can contain the memories, joy, smiles, and comfort that this friendship journey would include. In 1978, Marty moved to Boise, where he was hired in the Meridian School District to teach at McMillan Elementary School, designing and implementing the first “mainstream” elementary classroom for emotionally challenged children in the school district. Marty’s career in the Meridian School District was extensive, moving on to teach second grade at Frontier Elementary School and then to the Principalship of Ustick, Eagle, and Frontier Elementary Schools. In 2000, Marty’s family moved to the Dominican Republic where he assumed the Directorship of Santiago Christian School. Returning to Boise in 2003, Marty was selected as Principal designated to open and staff Desert Sage Elementary School where he served for 3 years, retiring in 2009 after a long and distinguished career in education. The teachers that Marty worked with along the way were a cherished delight for him. So many great memories, especially the loving staff of Eagle Elementary.
Marty and I met on a church retreat in the Sawtooth Mountains in 1990and were married on May 25, 1991. It was a beautiful, perfect day and the beginning of a journey with a person that taught me about God, faith, kindness, traveling the world, and what the term “marrying up” meant. Marty was the best, and my life changed for the better when I married him. A gentle soul, a “stop and smell the roses” kind of guy, who made me a better person. In 1992, we became foster parents to Erin and Shannon, and wow, did our lives change! After we adopted our girls in 1994, our first trip was to Papua New Guinea, living in the jungle! This was to be the MURPHY life. Marty showed us the world as he/we traveled to Papua New Guinea, Australia, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Mozambique, China, Taiwan, Malawi, Senegal, and Ireland; working on church mission trips, taking teens to serve and experience 3rd world countries, meeting his brothers numerous times to enjoy baseball Spring Training, attending BSU Bronco bowl games, or just traveling and enjoying the beauty of our world as a couple. Our definite favorite place was Ireland, where we were blessed to take three long distance hikes and enjoy lovely Irish hospitality – once with his brother Bernie.
When Marty was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, his bucket list was simply to see friends and family. That led to more traveling to the Dominican Republic, to Arizona, Florida and Oregon to visit family, an amazing cruise to Alaska with dear friends, another trip to Ireland, and a stop in New York to see his beloved Yankees play. Bernie and Marty also hiked the Camino de Santiago Compostela pilgrimage through Portugal and Spain, a special time for the brothers to be together. God blessed us so much!
Marty would want to thank those who came alongside us through this tough journey. Mark and Marcia, who walked with us every step of the way through our journey with Alzheimer’s disease, from the diagnosis toholding our hands the night Marty took his last breath and went home. Their dedication and love is an example of true friendship. His dear friend Curt, who not only said he loved Marty, but acted this love out by continuing to faithfully spend time with Marty to the very end. Marty’s brothers Bernie and John, who continued to FaceTime with Marty each week, because they could not be here with him. Linda’s sister Karen, who did so much behind the scenes. He loved all of you so much! And the truly loving staff at Brightstar in Eagle: Jeanie, Dominique, Jasmine, Drew, Kyle, and Abigail. Marty felt your love and care every single day. God knows the many others who helped me and prayed for us, and I thank you all.
Marty is survived by his wife Linda, his daughters Erin and Shannon, his brothers Bernie and John and wife Paula, sister-in-law Karen, brother-in-law Ron and wife Kathi, nieces and nephews Caitlin, Keegan, Brian, Brad, Kimberly, Whitney and Courtney. He also adored being Uncle Monkey to his nieces-in-love Marla and Katy VanSkiver. Marty was preceded in death by his wonderful parents Joe in 1982 and Helene in 1993.
Marty wanted everyone reading this to know his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was first in his life. The moment Marty believed and gave his life to Christ in 1973, everything changed and because of that decision, he is now experiencing true joy and basking in the pure love and glory of God. He had no fear of death, and he would wish this peace for all.
We will celebrate Marty’s life at 10am on May 5th, 2023, at Faith Community Bible Church, 9950 W Ustick Rd, Boise, Idaho, followed by an honor ceremony at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery at 1pm. In lieu of flowers, a contribution can be made in Marty’s name to Gary Sinise Foundation, PO Box 40726, Nashville, TN 37204 or garysinisefoundation.org/donate. All are welcome to come and celebrate this beautiful man’s life. Please do not dress up, or in black. Marty is with Jesus and this is a time of celebration, as CS Lewis so eloquently described in his book The Last Battle that Marty and I read so many times:“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now!” Marty is truly in his real home. Praise be to God for the gift of His Son Jesus that makes that possible. John 3:16
Kenton saysMarch 5, 2023 at 4:17 pm
I’m saddened to hear about Marty. He and I worked together for decades. I considered him a friend as well as a peer. I always saw Marty as one of the good guys. He’ll be missed.
In lieu of flowers, a contribution can be made in Marty’s name to Gary Sinise Foundation, PO Box 40726, Nashville, TN 37204 or garysinisefoundation.org/donate.