OBITUARY

John Murphy

November 10, 1959September 21, 2020
Play Tribute Movie

John Michael Murphy of Alligator Point, Florida passed away peacefully at home with his devoted wife and other family members by his side on September 21, 2020 after valiantly battling cancer since 2018. John was born November 10, 1959 in Tallahassee, Florida to Vergie and Simmie Murphy. John grew up in Tallahassee and graduated from FSU with a degree in American History. He worked diligently and loyally for 30 years for the Florida legislature. When retirement was finally within reach, John accepted it with grace and devoted his time to fully enjoying the freedom to bird locally and abroad. John had a brilliant mind and his recall of the hundreds of bird books he studied was nothing short of miraculous. He was generous with his time and knowledge, and if you ever had the opportunity to bird beside him, you would find his excitement contagious and his wit unparalleled. His post-retirement “hobby jobs” with Audubon, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and FWC focused on tracking, banding and maintaining data on nesting shorebirds along Florida’s panhandle coast, from St. Marks to Cape San Blas and including St. Vincent Island. He also served many years on the Records Committee for the Florida Ornithological Society documenting rare bird observations within Florida. He was a masterful and meticulous record keeper devoted to maintaining different records, including his bird sightings (just over 700 species in the lower 48 states and 2,741 worldwide species).

Besides birding, John loved sailing, travelling, saltwater fishing, the study of Florida history, Highwaymen art and FSU football. Because John was a man of few words who only spoke of himself if asked, three things that many may not have known about him: 1. He spent six months of his childhood in Australia; 2. He was on a bowling league; 3. He grew up on what is now known as the site of Mission San Luis and his family lived in one of the historical buildings.

John was a committed community servant in Franklin County and Alligator Point where he resided for the past 30 years. He was a long-time volunteer firefighter for Alligator Point and held many posts with the Alligator Point Taxpayers Association. He also served on the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Committee for many years where he was always considered the voice of reason. In addition to the enormous void that John leaves in the birding community, he leaves the following loved ones to cherish his memory: his wife of 24 years, Deanna Greene Murphy; his brother, Tim (Patrick Timothy Murphy of Tallahassee) and nephew, Patrick Murphy of Monteagle, Tennessee; his beloved “Aunt Jeb”(Geraldine Murphy of San Francisco); his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Stephanie and Paul Parker and nephews, Mitchell and Jack Parker (Alligator Point, Florida); his mother-in-law, Jane Greene (Tallahassee); his niece and nephew, Jennifer Greene (Michigan) and Marc Greene (Kentucky). Besides his passionate obsession with birding, John will be remembered for his magical smile and infectious laughter, as well as his genuine respect for others. He lived his life by the Golden Rule to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This world needs more John Murphys and it has lost a great one with his passing. In lieu of flowers, it was John’s wish for donations to be made to the Second Harvest of the Big Bend.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held Sunday, September 27 at 2:00 PM with a Reception to follow until 4:00 PM at Culley’s Funeral Home (1737 Riggins Rd in Tallahassee). Due to restrictions for Covid-19. capacity is restricted to 50 people maximum and masks are required. The Celebration of Life will be livestreamed on Culley's Facebook page. The video will appear at the time of service https://www.facebook.com/culleysmeadowwood/

Services

  • Celebration of Life

    Sunday, September 27, 2020

  • Reception to Follow

    Sunday, September 27, 2020

Memories

John Murphy

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Kathy Elmore

September 28, 2020

Love knows no boundaries...
While John is no longer physically with us, his spirit will always be around us...
My deepest condolences to John's family.
Peace be with each of you...

Faye Greene

September 27, 2020

Deanna so very sorry for your huge loss. Just wanted to let you know my thoughts and prayers are with you on this day.

Bonnie Samuelsen

September 27, 2020

John worked for and volunteered with Audubon Florida's Shorebird and Seabird program, along with several other agencies and organizations over the years. FWC, USFWS, DEP state parks and St Vincent NWR are ones that come to mind. His contributions to all were invaluable.

Bonnie Samuelsen

September 27, 2020

Phipps Preserve, The Nature Conservancy site dear to John. A community coastal cleanup, John 2nd from left.

Bonnie Samuelsen

September 27, 2020

My deepest sympathy Deanna and family. I hope you find comfort in memories and knowing John had a life well lived! I will miss John deeply. John made such important contributions to the community, a sense of humor that I loved, a gentleman like no other, had a silent strength and a fantastic passion for birding. His soul will always be one to aspire to.

Beth Wright

September 26, 2020

I rarely ever saw John without a smile on his face and always admired his ability to remain calm and composed when I myself was over-the-top agitated about the same situation. I loved his quiet wit shared so many times during days out in the field. And I was a bit jealous that although he was not by profession a wildlife biologist, John turned into a far better shorebird biologist than me! Fly high on your next journey, John. We will miss you.

Marsha Lisitza

September 26, 2020

My sincere condolences to his wife and family. I realize that no one in his Florida family knows who I am because I am a winter resident from Wisconsin who met John because of birding. For 3 years he shared his knowledge and some field experience with me during the winter months. I then was able to fly on my own but will never forget his kindness and devotion to the natural world, may his memory be an inspiration to all who love nature and are willing to share it with others.

Bob Henderson

September 26, 2020

John Michael Murphy

Hearing of John’s passing seemed
like a hole had formed in the cosmo.
Anyone who knew John
will know of what I speak.

A genuine gentle soul
with an expansive heart.
A deferential person
but a leader just the same.

A man of many talents
all to be shared with others.
An outstanding public servant
and a valued community leader.

Deeply passionate
above all about birds.
Both scientific endeavors
and personal pleasure.

John we will miss you
but will always remember.
Each of us will do our best
to fill that void caused by your death.


Jim Eager

September 25, 2020

I first met John at Hugh Taylor Birch SP in Ft Lauderdale over 10 yrs ago chasing a Bahamas Mockingbird but unfortunately we did not refind it. I would see John at various FOS meetings and chasing rarities around the state. I last saw John at Gold Branch SP in March 2020 chasing a rare bird. We talked at length and birded together. He will be sorely missed. Sincere condolences to John's family. Fly with the Eagles John.

Rod T Gasche

September 25, 2020

John was a great teacher and friend for me over the past few years while working with him on the various Bird Counts in Franklin County. Many times over the years , I had asked him for help in identifying the many birds that I ran into while traveling over our Country. He was always gladly there to help me with these ID's. I will greatly miss him.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Peruvian Picnic January 2020

FROM THE FAMILY

Nephew Jack’s graduation May 2020

FROM THE FAMILY

Fishing with Captain Clay Oaks July 2020

FROM THE FAMILY

Machu Picchu
January 2020

FROM THE FAMILY

Machu Picchu
January 2020

FROM THE FAMILY

June 2020

FROM THE FAMILY

Machu Picchu
January 2020

FROM THE FAMILY

Uncle John & Jack in Idaho June 2020

Learn more about the Murphy name

VISIT ANCESTRY.COM