Obituary for MURPHY

Published in the Albuquerque Journal on Saturday October 30, 2004

Paul Joseph Murphy (Lt. Col., USAF, retired), 84, passed away Thursday morning, October 28, 2004 in Albuquerque. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Donna Gene (Wilson) Murphy; a brother, Robert of Melrose, MA; three sons: Donald of Las Cruces, Kevin and wife Susan (Lynch) Murphy of Albuquerque, and Kim and wife Patricia Leigh Disert of Albuquerque. He is also survived by three wonderful grandchildren: Emily (Murphy) Inman and husband Chris of Highlands Ranch, CO, Shannon and Andrew Murphy; and one great-grandchild, Katherine Lily Inman. Lt. Col. Murphy was born in Boston, MA in 1920, the second son of Eugene William and Mary Florence (Dalton) Murphy, and attended St. Mary's Grammar School and Melrose High School. He attended Colby College in Maine on a football scholarship before entering the Army Air Corps in 1942. A veteran of World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with 19 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal and a Purple Heart. During World War II, Lt. Col. Murphy served with the 325th Fighter Group "Checkertail Clan" in Italy and throughout Europe. He retired from the U.S. Air Force after 30 years of service, including two duty assignments at Kirtland AFB, in 1974. He was a member of the Quiet Birdmen, Daedalians, and was past president of the New Mexico Aviation Association. In retirement, he indulged in his life-long passion of flying by giving flying lessons, piloting airplanes for private clients, building planes for his own use, and documenting historic airfields. He was, also, instrumental in organizing Aviation Cadet Class 43E reunions throughout the Country. In 1992, he attended the International Meeting of Veteran Pilots of World War II in Budapest, Hungary, which was sponsored by the Hungarian Ministry of Defense. Throughout his life he accumulated over 10,000 hours of flight time in over 30 types of military and civilian aircraft. He loved photography, and Southwest history, and the family remembers many adventurous trips to sites of interest in the Western states. He is loved and will be missed: sleep now, our prince of the sky. Visitation will be Monday evening, November 1, 2004 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the French Mortuary on Wyoming Blvd. NE with burial in the National Cemetery in Santa Fe. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his memory to the American Lung Association of New Mexico, 7001 Menaul Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110 (Telephone: 505-265-0732). High Flight Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings, Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air. Up, up the long, delirious burning blue I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace Where never lark, or even eagle flew. And, while silent, lifting mind I've trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God. - John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (1941) French Mortuary 7121 Wyoming Blvd. NE (505) 823-9400

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