Thomas W. Murphy, passed away peacefully at home on February 18, 2020, surrounded by his loving and attentive family after a very long and exhausting battle with emphysema.
Tom was born on January 4, 1943 to Mark and Zoe (Younger) Murphy and grew up on a farm in Lena, Wisconsin. As number 7 in a family of 14, he learned to appreciate family as the cornerstone to everything in life. His fondest childhood memories revolve around the times he shared with his parents and siblings on the farm when life was simpler, the stories were taller, and work came before play. Tom came from a family of 10 boys, all of whom became Millwrights and spent their lives working in construction just like their father. He was naturally gifted and self taught and could erect a full paper machine the size of a football field, or tackle anything he didn’t understand by giving it a go and not giving up until he figured it out.
Over the course of his career Tom worked for the Milwaukee Road Railroad, C.R. Meyers, AMF, Oscar J. Boldt and The Selmer Company. His proudest accomplishment was starting his own construction company, T. W. Murphy, Inc., specialists in paper industry construction and optical alignment. This company was his life’s work and he loved being able to work with his sons, brothers, nieces and nephews.
Tom’s unique character was evident in everything he did and every relationship he made in his life. He had a way with words and greatly enjoyed conversation, especially if it involved anything relating to construction, fishing, hunting, and home improvement projects. He considered everyone he met in life as his friend and was generous to a fault. There was no one more hardworking and driven than Tom who often worked around the clock, whether on a construction project or something on his honey-do list. While he definitely had his own creative way of doing things, which sometimes other people didn’t understand, in the end, he was usually right but never had to prove that point to anyone. His family meant absolutely everything to him and he worked extremely hard to provide not for himself, but for all of his children and respected each of them as unique individuals, never comparing them to each other. He especially loved using analogies to make life lessons stick with his children and to this day, they remember them well. As a dad, while he put the emphasis on work over play, he also had a very soft side and was a partner in crime, secret keeper, teacher, advisor, and a great listener that didn’t judge and was genuinely interested in all of their lives. His strong work ethic, drive, ambition, creativity, risk taking, gift of gab and his natural construction abilities are evident in unique ways in all of his children whom he loved dearly.
Tom is survived by his wife Judy, children, Michael, Daniel, Shawn (Sheila), and Christopher Murphy (Erin), Meghan Priewe (Jordan), Mackenzie (Gene Gruber), and Colten Murphy (Nathan Ducat); grand children, Brielle, Isaiah, Xavier, Memphis, Liam and Cecilia Murphy; sisters, Margaret Janousek, Kathleen Glish, and Rosalie Murphy; brothers, Paul, Vince, Bill and Pat Murphy.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Sidnee Murphy (mother of Michael, Daniel, Patrick and Shawn), son Patrick, brothers Mark, Bob, John, Jerry and Peter Murphy and brother-in-laws Al Glish and Ron Janousek.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 2597 Glendale Ave., Howard, WI. Visitation will be 9:00 a.m. until time of service at 11:00 a.m.
Tom’s family would like to thank Dr. Hoppe, Dr. DeGroot, Dave Schleis and Unity Hospice for their wonderful support, care, and friendship.
In lieu of flowers, Tom would want you to enjoy conversation with a friend over a Bud Light Lime or 7&7.