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.