Bernard J. Murphy, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, with his wife and daughter at his side.
Bernard was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on May 4, 1939, the only son of Bernard and Ellie Jane (McGuinness) Murphy. He attended St. Mary’s Grammar School and High School, where he excelled in sports. After graduation he attended Stone Business College for one semester before joining the army in the fall of 1958. He served with the 24th Engineers out of Furth Bay, Germany for two years, receiving an honorable discharge in December of 1961, in order to join the Eastern Province Dominicans as a religious brother the following fall.
As Brother Edmund Murphy, O.P., he served God’s people first at the House of Studies in Washington, D.C. where he continued his theological and art studies at Catholic University and the Corcoran School of the Arts. During his 18 years of religious life, he was a member of the vocation team out of St. Vincent’s Priory in New York City, Director of the Saint Joseph residence Center at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and part of the retreat team at St. Stephen’s Priory in Dover, Massachusetts. His final assignment was in Nashville, TN, where he was Director of Dismas House, a transitional home for ex-offenders.
In the spring of 1978, Bernard was dispensed from his vows as a Dominican brother but continued to serve people. He started working with the Boys Club in Nashville in the spring of 1979. This led to an opening with the Boys Club of Greater New Orleans. The summer of 1980, found him working as the Unit Director of the Boys Club in Slidell, LA. During his tenure as unit director, working with local government officials and business leaders, he moved the club’s operations out of what was once a Boy Scout meeting lodge to a new facility on donated land in Possum Hollow Park. Upon completion of this project, he focused his attention on the development of new club locations on the Northshore area around Lake Ponchartrain, ending his career as, what was now the Boys and Girls club of New Orleans, Director of Development.
Bernard, his wife Katie, and daughter, Cristin made their home on a 17-acre farm in Poplarville, MS. He was an active member of Saint Joseph Parish where he served as an usher and Eucharistic minister. In September of 2017 he and Katie relocated to Savannah, GA to be close to their daughter and her family.
Bernard cared for people, especially those in need. He loved music, playing his guitar, theatre, reading and Irish poetry. When asked why he put so much of himself into everything he did, he responded, “I always try to leave a place better than I found it.”
In addition to his wife Katie, who only called him Ed, Bernard leaves behind his daughter, Cristin Margerison (Johnnie) of Savannah; grandchildren Mia, Max, and Alexa; sister, Catherine Rose Daly of Cheshire, CT; nieces, a nephew, and numerous cousins.
A Mass will be celebrated at Saint Peter the Apostle Catholic Church on Saturday, December 11, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that you consider a donation in Bernard’s memory to one of his favorite charities: the St. Joseph’s Indian School, P.O. Box 300, Chamberlain, SD 57325-9919, the Nature Conservancy, or the Arbor Foundation.
Bernard’s family may be comforted with the resurrection hope to see their loved one back in good health in normal conditions. Psalms 37:10,11,29 promises that the meek & righteous will inherit the earth to enjoy life as God intended in peace. JW.org will be a blessing. “Enjoy Life Forever” Sincerely, Sandy Wirfs
- Sandy Wirfs, Monroe, Louisiana