Dr. Thomas Murphy
Dr. Thomas Murphy, age 79, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and formerly of Ida Grove, Iowa, died peacefully after a brief illness on Sunday, February 17, 2013, at Aria Health Torresdale Campus in Philadelphia, with many family members by his side.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, February 23, 2013, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ida Grove, Iowa, under the direction of Christensen-Huffman Funeral Homes. The Reverend Richard Ball will officiate, with burial to follow in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held at Christensen-Huffman Funeral Home in Ida Grove on Friday from 4-8 p.m., with a Scripture Service at 7 p.m.
Born September 26, 1933, in Ida Grove, Iowa, Thomas was the son of Theodore "Theo" E. Murphy and Mae Belle E. (nee Bugge) Murphy. Tom grew up in Ida Grove, playing in school sports and in the school band, and achieving Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Tom suffered from a debilitating life-changing event when he was stricken with polio in 1949, during his senior year of high school.
Before polio struck, Tom always had an abundance of energy. He loved to run and excelled at sports. He was a defensive linebacker on the Ida Grove High School varsity football team, and was scouted by college teams. Tom also did a brief stint as a recruit in the Iowa National Guard in 1949, and was nearly sent home after officials discovered he was too young. When polio struck later that year, Tom was taken to Sioux City where he was hospitalized for many months in an iron lung. Despite the near fatal illness, Tom managed to graduate on time with his class from Ida Grove High School in 1950.
Tom attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he completed a bachelor's degree in general science in 1954. He continued his studies at the University of Iowa, graduating from the College of Medicine in 1958. Tom was board certified in general surgery and also pursued a residency in psychiatry which he completed in 1962. His medical career spanned 54 years – residency in Iowa and Michigan, two years in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, six years in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, then 42 years in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, until his retirement in December, 2012.
Tom was married to Barbara J. (Bell) Murphy, M.D., from 1958 to 1978. While raising seven children they moved to the Philadelphia suburbs in 1970, where Barbara attended medical school. After moving to Pennsylvania Tom became Scoutmaster of Troop 189 in Valley Forge Council, Pennsylvania, and often took his boys hiking and camping, until limitations from the polio became too much.
Although polio affected him more each year, Tom was determined to continue working as long as possible. His psychiatric practice was focused primarily in community health services, working for years at the Philadelphia Psychiatric Center, the Benjamin Rush Center, and the City Health Center of Strawberry Mansion in Philadelphia. Tom’s daughter Elizabeth and grandson Willie took care of Tom's home needs for over twenty years.
Survivors include three siblings, James Murphy of New Orleans, LA, Michael Murphy of West Des Moines, and Mary Murphy of Dubuque; seven children, Andrew Murphy of Odenton, MD, Theodore of West Chester, PA, Kathleen Murphy of Early, TX, Timothy Murphy of Brownwood, TX, Elizabeth Murphy of Philadelphia, PA, Monica Morris of San Antonio, TX, and Stephen Murphy of Early, TX; 19 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren. At the time of his death Tom was looking forward to the birth of three more great-grandchildren.