James "Jim" L. Murphy

September 18, 1936August 23, 2018


James Lee Murphy, 81, of Peoria, formerly of Norwood, passed away peacefully at 4:15 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, at Heartis Village in Peoria. Jim was born Sept. 18, 1936, in Peoria to James A. and Rena V. (Newell) Murphy. Surviving are five children, Cassie (Dave) Myers of Peoria, Patrick (Lori) Murphy of Bartonville, Mickey (Vince) Wieland of Dunlap, Lisa Sonney of Peoria and Erin (Trevor) Reed of Clearwater, Fla.; 13 grandchildren, Jason Myers, Nicole (Bryan) Hougham, Renee (Stephen) Bogart, Nathan Murphy, Andrea (Chad) TeBeest, Kayla (Mike) Schneider, Tarah (Tom) Meister, Laken (Jerry) Garcia, Erika (Tyler) Scheirer, Kaitlyn Sonney, Ethan (Kelsey) Hajnal and Emma and Matt Reed; and 19 great-grandchildren. Jim also leaves behind his brother, Jack D. Murphy of Sparland; many cousins, nephews and nieces; along with countless friends including a very special friend, Sharon Miller He was preceded in death by his parents; birth father, Thomas “Pat” Murphy; the mother of his children, Joyce (Swanson) Haley; sister, Mary Jane Braun; and his partner, Doris Lipe. Jim grew up in Chillicothe where he graduated high school before moving to Peoria. Jim retired from Keystone Steel and Wire as a millwright and was involved in politics at Keystone being elected as safety chairman. He was a certified OSHA Safety instructor at Keystone, a past member of the Bartonville Lion’s Club and was of the Baptist faith. Jim never met a stranger always ready with a story to share usually ending with a hearty belly laugh. Murph enjoyed spending many winters in Texas walking the beaches where he was known as the "mighty shark's tooth hunter". He loved nature, setting up his “bird sanctuary” for the residents to enjoy at Heartis and planting wild flowers wherever he could find an empty plot of soil. Many years ago he secured a grant to plant native Illinois prairie grasses at Alpha Park, with his good buddy, Hawk. Jim was an entrepreneur from the time he was a small boy, selling turtles that he would catch on the riverbanks with his dog Brownie by his side, pulling his red wagon full of rhubarb going door-to-door and “junking” wherever he could find treasures. He was a collector of many things but was especially fond of his Sooner Glass collection, displaying all of his unique pieces throughout his home and sharing them with those who would enjoy them as well. A visitation will be Monday, Aug. 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Davison-Fulton-Woolsey-Wilton Funeral Home. A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28, with visitation one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. The Rev. Ken Linder will officiate. Burial will follow the service at Chillicothe City Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Hydrocephalus Association. Words of comfort can be shared with the family at


  • James A. Murphy, Father
  • Rena V. (Newell) Murphy, Mother
  • Cassie ( Dave) Myers, Daughter
  • Patrick ( Lori) Murphy, Son
  • Mickey (Vince) Wieland, Daughter
  • Lisa Sonney, Daughter
  • Erin (Trevor) Reed, Daughter
  • Jason Myers, Nicole (Bryan) Hougham, Renee (Stephen) Bogart, Nathan Murphy, Andrea (Chad) TeBeest, Kayla (Mike) Schneider, Tarah (Tom) Meister, Laken (Jerry) Garcia, Erika (Tyler) Scheirer, Grandchildren
  • Kaitlyn Sonney, Ethan (Kelsey) Hajnal and Emma and Matt Reed, Grandchildren
  • ~ 19 ~, Great-Grandchildren
  • Jack D. Murphy, Brother
  • ~ many ~, Cousins, nephews and nieces
  • Sharon Miller, Special friend

  • Hydrocephalus Association


  • Visitation Monday, August 27, 2018
  • Visitation Tuesday, August 28, 2018
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, August 28, 2018

James "Jim" L. Murphy

have a memory or condolence to add?

Marie Binkin

September 4, 2018

Mickey, Vince & family,

Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of Jim. We did not know him, but he sounded like a wonderful person. Hopefully his collection of different things will be treasured by your family along with many pleasant memories.

Love & prayers, Marie & Steve Binkin

Terry and Joni Swanson

August 27, 2018

We are so very sorry to hear of Jim's passing.. We send our deepest sympathy to family and friends, our thoughts and prayers are with you all! May God give you comfort.
Terry and Joni Swanson


August 24, 2018

Jim was the best neighbor my family could have asked for , many times he would join us for cook outs. We sat often on his porch and had visits, we loved and adored him !Our prayers and thoughts are with his family.

Ken & Julie Wheeler

August 24, 2018

As neighbors to Jim for a lot of years - gardening & wine was the passion we shared! He will be greatly missed & we will always think of him with the arrival & departure of the Hummingbirds and of course all of his favorite blooms of the season. He'll be watching from above & now is in a better place to rest.

Tracey Kupper

August 23, 2018

Jim will be greatly missed at Heartis! There wasn’t a day that he didn’t make me smile and laugh. I love you Big Jim! Be good up there!