James (Jim) Martin Murphy

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Former Aurora resident, James (Jim) Martin Murphy passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of Friday, December 11. Jim was born December 8, 1928 to Cornelius (CJ) and Laura (Martin) Murphy in Geneva. The family lived in Geneva where two more sons, Paul and Bernard (Pete), joined the family. They then moved to a farm near Giltner in 1935. Jim attended Giltner High School, where he was a four-sport athlete and graduated in 1946.
Jim farmed with his father and brothers after high school until joining the US military in 1951 where he served in the Army Signal Corps during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1953.
He returned to Nebraska and went to work for E.R. Springer in Aurora. During this time he also attended the Fridgidare Corporation refrigeration school in Omaha. After successful completion of his schooling, he continued working for E.R. Springer until the family moved to Washington in 1963.
Jim met the love of his life, Jeanine Stenger, in Aurora in 1954 and the two were married June 4, 1955. The Murphy family would grow with the births of seven children in the next 8-1/2 years. This bustling young family would move to Anacortes, WA. in 1963 and would go on to enjoy many wonderful experiences in this small seaside town many miles from the fields and farms of Nebraska.
Jim worked for the Department of the Navy as a mechanical planner and estimator, retiring in 1990. He also owned and operated Murphy’s Refrigeration, a cornerstone of the Anacortes restaurant industry and school district until Jim finally hung up his tools and sold his van and business at the age of 85.
Jim touched so many lives so very deeply. He was a humble and private man, while maintaining very active and diverse roles among his beloved family and friends. He loved St. Mary Catholic Church, which was his home away from home, was a life member of the Knights of Columbus, the Anacortes Elks Club (where he helped solve many of the world’s problems on Friday nights) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Additionally, he was a member of the Skagit Men’s Garden Club and the Fidalgo Fly Fishers. Jim loved working and being outside, puttering in his garden and shop and fishing with his grandchildren. He also treasured his mountain adventures with beloved nephew, Pat.
There was never a hand in need that Jim did not reach out and touch.
Jim is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jeanine, at the family home; son Michael; daughters Colleen (Gary, Laura and Nathan Thramer); Kerry (Kevin, Ryan (Chelsea) and Brianna Thomas); Lori (Ken Burtness); Shelly (George, Lali, Vinod and Karma Kushner); Kristen Murphy (Bob, Sally and Reese Vaux); Kathleen (Allen, Haley and Dylan Cyr); brother and sister-in-law Pete and Janie Murphy of Broken Bow; special friend and nephew Patrick (Kim, Matt and Kasey Murphy, Rainie Ruh); Theresa Frazer, Susan Fletcher and granddaughter, Emma Fletcher-Frazer; numerous nieces and nephews; and great-grandchildren Raegan and Logan Thomas. He is also survived by many dear friends who meant so much to Jim and his family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, CJ and Laura Murphy; brother, Paul Murphy; mother-and father-in-law, Betsy and Hardin Stenger.
Jim’s Rosary was held Thursday, December 17 at 5:30 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Anacortes with a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, December 18 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church. Remembrances may be made to St. Vincent De Paul of Anacortes, the Knights of Columbus of St. Mary Parish, or the Friends of the Anacortes Community Forest Lands. You may also share your thoughts of Jim online at www.evanschapel.com.  Cards may be sent to 11568 Whistle Lake Rd., Anacortes, WA  98221.

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