Michael J. Murphy

March 11, 2007

Michael J. Murphy

MICHAEL J. MURPHY – in Woburn, March 11th at home with his family, beloved husband of Julia (Johnson) Murphy. Devoted father of Michael P. Murphy and his wife Marianne of Duxbury, Douglas Murphy and his wife Tracey of Woburn, and Steven Murphy of Tewksbury. Dear brother of John Murphy of Rockport, Francis “Butch” Murphy of Tewksbury and Mary Ybarbo of TX. Loving grandfather of eight grandchildren, Jillian, Alicia, Caitlin, Erin, Mark, Emily, Mikayla and Ryan Murphy. Also lovingly survived by many nieces and nephews. A Funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street on Friday, March 16th at 9 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Anthony Church, 851 Main Street, North Woburn at 10. Calling hours will be held on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. Donations may be made in Mr. Murphy’s memory to the Woburn High School Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 202, Woburn, MA 01801, or to Hospice Care, Inc., 100 Sylvan Road, Woburn, MA 01801.


Michael J. Murphy passed away Sunday evening, March 11th, with his family at his bedside, after a most diligent and courageous battle with cancer. The beloved husband of Julia “Julie” (Johnson) Murphy he was seventy years old.

Born in Cambridge, he was the son of the late Vincent J and Margaret E (Shea) Murphy. He was raised in Winchester and was a graduate of Winchester High School, Class of 1955. During his years in High School “Mike” as he was affectionately known, was described as one of the most ”classic athletes in Winchester History.” He was an outstanding running back of the football team, all three years of his varsity tenure. “The Enforcer” as he was referred to playing defense on the ice, captained the state championship team in 1955. In track, he held the school record for the shot put. As a result of all his outstanding performances in three sporting events, Mike was inducted into the Winchester Sports Foundation Hall of Fame in 1997. Following high school Mike went on to St. Joseph’s University in Indiana, where there he also was an outstanding running back for all four years and was inducted into his alma maters Hall of Fame. Mike had never missed a Woburn- Winchester Thanksgiving game since he began playing in them.

During his high school years in 1951, Mike began dating Julia Johnson from Woburn for all four years, and just this year they had celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. When they married he moved to Woburn and his allegiance has been here ever since. He began teaching Physical Education at Woburn High School and remained there for the next thirty eight years, retiring in 2001. He and Julie raised their three sons and would all share in each others ventures right up to just recently. Mike was actively involved in car racing and that he shared with his three sons. In their garage they would work nights and weekends building cars and motors together. Weekends and summers were the times when Mike would race. Having his sons at the track to assist him during his many years of racing with his main car being named “My Three Sons” made him extremely happy and proud. “The Flying School Teacher” as he was known had an outstanding record: 1979 Star Speedway Modified Champ;1985 Set New England record winning 22 out o 26 races at a single track; Five time Hudson Speedway Pro Stock Champion; Six time winner Gate City Cocoa Cola Classic; Only three time winner of “Lady Patricia Cup”;

1987 Star Speedway Pro Stock Champion; 1989 Star Speedway NASCAR Pro Stock Champion. Mike was honored last summer in a surprise event held at the Lee Speedway just for him. All the people Mike had met over the years in all of his racing activities and friends from the present and the past gathered unbeknownst to him to pay tribute to a gentle man who displayed tremendous respect for everyone on and off the track, and also to give his car “My Three Sons” its last ride around the track in his honor.

At the high school Mike could be found always close to the gym. During the day he would be found in the gym or out in the fields, teaching classes .After school he was coaching either track or football for a good number of years. Following the actual coaching Mike still was involved in sporting events at the high school. From the time that the O’Brien Rink opened at the Joyce Middle School, Mike was the Goal Judge for all Middlesex League hockey games right up until this year. Girls and Boys Basketball games were also with Mike on the clock, for all varsity and junior varsity games, which he did right up to the middle of this year and at that time his son Doug took over with his Dad at his side. In addition to all that he has done for the Woburn High School Athletic Program and the students at Woburn High School he was a most loving family man. Having achieved all that he had throughout his lifetime he always remained a very humble man. Mike was extremely proud of his wife and sons and they all shared a very strong bond throughout his life. When his grandchildren came along he couldn’t be prouder and shared many, many happy times with them all. He managed to be at all of their activities in school, the gyms or soccer and field hockey fields, cheering them on, rain, snow, sleet or shine he was there right up until two weeks ago. Mike was also a very religious man, being sure that he would attend mass weekly, no matter where he was or how far he had to travel, he wanted to give thanks for all that he had.

In addition to his wife Julie of fifty years Mike is survived by his three sons Michael P. Murphy and his wife Marianne of Duxbury, Douglas Murphy and his wife Tracey of Woburn, and Steven Murphy of Tewksbury. Dear brother of John Murphy of Rockport, Francis “Butch” Murphy of Tewksbury and Mary Ybarbo of TX. Lovingly survived by eight grandchildren Jillian, Alicia, Caitlin, Erin, Mark, Emily, Mikayla, and Ryan Murphy.

The funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Friday, March 16th at 9 a.m., followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Anthony Church, 851 Main Street, North Woburn at 10. Interment will follow in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn.

Calling hours will be held on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m.

Donations may be made in Mr. Murphy’s memory to the Woburn High School Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 202, Woburn, MA 01801, or to Hospice Care, Inc., 100 Sylvan Road, Woburn, MA 01801.


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  1. We wish you strength at this time. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We are very sorry for your loss.

    Suzanne Paulding (Hoyt)

  2. Dear Julie and family,
    I’m so sorry to hear about Mike. He was truly a one of a kind. I will always have a special spot in my heart for him. No matter how much time elapsed bewteen visits I could always talk to Mike like no time had passed. He always greated me with a warm hello and some little comment of some sort.

    I’ll keep this short because I’m sure you will get a million e-mails, but I was away when the final day came and will always regret that I never got by to see him. Maybe in my heart I was hoping for a miracle.

    You certainly must be proud as a family because I will always remember him as a friend, even though he scared the hell out of me when I was little with his imposing size and loud motercycles and automobiles. The only thing bigger than him was his zest for life for which he is still living in the best race track of all

    God bless,

    Richard Garvey

  3. Julie and family our condolences to you and the boys and there families, a great person Mike will be missed.You’ll all be in our prayers at this sad time…Ruth’n Bill

  4. Dear Murphy Family,

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. Mr. Murphy was a wonderful driver. I grew up watching him race at Star Speedway when I was growing up. My father always has wonderful things to say about him.

    Hold your dreams and memories dear for they will get you through your hard times.

    Melinda De Almeida

  5. To: The Murphy Family, Sorry to hear the passing of Mike “The Flying School Teacher” Murphy.He was one of the good guys that showed up every week to Star Speedway. A true racer indeed. He will be greatly missed by the racing family and myself. God bless him and all that came in touch with him over the years. With sympothy former Track Photographer, Thomas Bailey

  6. We will miss Mike’s dad and Mark’s grandfather in the stands at DHS games. He has been a fixture at the games over the years even during the mite years. We have a feeling he will continue to be at the games. God speed Mr. Murphy- the Malewicz family (Duxbury).

  7. donnie & ellen murray
    Mike was a wonderful person and a good friend. we loved to watch him race the m3 and later meeting in flordia for breakfast during race week. We will miss him alot. our thoughts are with the Murphy family in this time of sorrow.love Donnie & Ellen Murray

  8. The Murphy Family,

    I’m so sorry for the passing of Mr.Murphy. He was my gym teacher for 2 years @ WHS(class of 1996). One of the nicest teachers I ever had. I remember I always hated gym but loved going to class because he was such a nice man. My heart & prayers are with you.

    Debbie Hernandez-Felix

  9. Mike, I am very sorry to hear about your Dad – Having just been through it myself – Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    John and Nancy Grenda

  10. MIKE



  11. Julie & Family,

    We are deeply saddened to learn of Mike’s passing. He was our friend, co-worker, an all-around sportsman, and a dedicated family man with a wonderful sense of humor. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time; may you find courage and strength in your beautiful family and in your memories of Mike. Mary & John Matthews (Palm Bay, FL)

  12. Dear Julie:

    We had no idea that things were as difficult for you as they have been recently. We were so sorry when we read about the death of Mike in tonights paper. Please accept our deepest sympathy and know that our thoughts are with you and your family.

    Takodahly yours,
    Joan (McNeill) and Bill Bird

  13. Flyin Frank Foley and my wife Rosemary

    Mike The “Flyin School Teacher” Murphy made such an impact on my life from when I was 8 yrs old watching Mike race at Pines and Hudson speedways In the pink lady #28.Boy i remember it like it was yesterday.I remember Mrs Murph always there with all 3 boys what a great family! Mike you will be in our Hearts and Prayers Forever, May you Rest in Peace and remember “Go Fast Turn Left”

  14. Laura and her son Aaron Day
    Aaron a racecar driver of the RR division At Star Speedway,

    Our hearts and prayers are with all of you God Bless.sorry to here of your lost.God will help you though this tought time.
    i will pray for all of you.it is hard to lose a love one.again our heart and prayers go out to you and your family.
    GOD BLESS The Day Family of NewMarket NH

  15. Julie, Paul, Dougie and Stevie, Yesterdays wonderful memories todays sad tears, hopefully through God’s grace tomorrow’s smiles.

    All My Love Beverly.

  16. I have fond Memories as a child going to Hudson,N.H Speedway with my Family. Mike”The Flying Schoolteacher” was always one of my Favorites. God Bless the entire Murphy Family, and I am sure Mike is still racing in the Big Racetrack in the Sky…

  17. Julie, Paul, Doug, Steve, and family:

    I will always remember the fun times we all shared and the trips we took.

    My heart breaks for you all during this trying time. We are all here for you in any way we can.

    Will love and sympathy,

    Lisa Muise

  18. god blees you mike youll be missed i have nothing but great memories of you i saw you whrn i worked at hudson for charlie you were the best then and always be no1 i sure you will find a ride in heaven god bless you mike ill miss you the gate man from hudson annd star

  19. Auntie Julie,Dougie,Stevie,and Paul. Uncle Mike was the Monarch of our family and he will be deeply missed. I am happy to have so many great memories that will live with me forever.

    Love Kimberly

  20. Julie,

    Mike was a wonderful man. He always kept me on my toes, (which I usually deserved)even up until this past Saturday.

    You are a great woman and he was very lucky to have your love, support, and courage.

    Love, Lori

  21. Dear Julie and cousins
    We will all miss Mike so much. We have many, many fond memories of “Cousin” Mike to keep him safe in our hearts.

  22. Murphy Family,
    We are so sorry about Mike’s passing. Dave and Lori are happy to have had the last few days with him. He will be greatly missed. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
    The Muise Family

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