John Francis Murphy
Passed away on March 8, 2019
JOHN [JACK] FRANCIS MURPHY of Park Ridge, New Jersey, peacefully passed away Friday, March 8, 2019.
He was born to John and Margaret Murphy on April 3, 1928 in the Bronx, New York. Jack was the second child of John and Margaret with his older brother Tim and sister Margaret. Following the untimely death of his mother, John remarried to Nellie Murray. In 1942, the Murphy family grew as they welcomed the birth of Joseph followed by the birth of Ann in 1944. Jack graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School in 1945 then shortly after enlisted in the United States Navy. When he was discharged from the Navy in 1948, the Murphy family moved to a New Jersey suburb, Englewood Cliffs.
During the early 1950’s, Jack worked for the Good Year Tire Company. While making his early morning walk to the bus stop, Jack noticed a police car pull up next to him. Officer Fred H. Witte asked if he wanted a ride. Little did Jack know, that ride was going to shape the rest of his life. With a job opportunity in the police force, Fred told Jack that Englewood Cliffs was going to explode in growth and become a thriving town. Jack knew this was an opportunity he could not pass up. In May 1953, Jack became a full-time member of the Englewood Cliffs Police Department, leaving behind a career with Good Year Tire Company.
Jack was a town-oriented man. He strived to lead Englewood Cliffs to a better place than how he found it. As the Police Department focused their sites on the community’s youth, Jack organized a baseball clinic for pre-Little League children. The police officers created a safe and fun environment while teaching the children of Englewood Cliffs the fundamentals of baseball and a love for the game. Alongside Jack was Captain John LaRaia. Spending hours of playing catch, batting practice, and even driving players to and from games, Jack brought a sense of hope and a lifetime of laughter to the community. In memory of his mentor, the Fred H. Witte Clinic is still an active program fifty-nine years later.
Jack was a man of many talents, including his melodies as an Irish tenor vocalist. He realized this was a gift he needed to pursue. While taking voice lessons, Jack met Alicia Robles, a beautiful young woman who was learning the keys of the piano. Captivated by her beauty and grace, Jack quickly fell hopelessly in love with Alicia. In 1958, Jack and Alicia were married in New York and lived in Englewood Cliffs until 2003. In April 2018, Jack and Alicia celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary with their six children, five grandchildren, and life-long friends.
In 1977, Jack was named Chief of Police of Englewood Cliffs. He was also a member of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association, the Honor Legion, and the New Jersey State Chiefs of Police Association. During the holiday season, Jack and his fellow Bergen County Chiefs would deliver games and toys to children in every hospital throughout the county. Jack found great joy simply chatting and taking pictures with the children. In 1987, Jack became President of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association.
Jack organized the Bergen County Police Chiefs Golf Outing at the prestigious White Beeches Country Club in Haworth, New Jersey. Thirty-five years later, the event continues to raise thousands of dollars for numerous families and charities around Bergen County. With his dedication to the event and philanthropy, the tournament was renamed to the Jack Murphy Golf Outing. Jack retired from the Police Department in 1993 after forty years of service to town of Englewood Cliffs.
Shortly after announcing his retirement, Jack was approached by a good friend, Mayor Joseph Parisi Sr. Mayor Parisi asked if he would consider running for a Borough Council seat. Answering a call for help where help was needed, Jack held a seat on the Borough Council for nine years. After serving the people of Englewood Cliffs as councilman, Jack and Alicia moved to the retirement hub of Park Ridge, New Jersey.
Jack was a man who lived a simple life: Sipping tea while eating breakfast at the State Line Lookout every morning, building his extensive coin collections, and reading novels by the great American authors. Every day was a day to be thankful for. His book of jokes and generous heart of gold only grew throughout the years. Jack’s happiness could be measured by the happiness that surrounded him.
With his charming personality, charismatic sense of humor, and captivating singing voice, Jack’s life was filled with love and laughter. Beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, and Chief. He will be loved and missed forever in our hearts.
- Visitation Monday, March 18, 2019
- Funeral Mass Tuesday, March 19, 2019
- Committal Service Tuesday, March 19, 2019
John Francis Murphy
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March 17, 2019
My deepest condolences to Jack's family on the loss of this wonderful man. Jack was someone we all loved; his ever-present smile and and love for fun lit up every room he entered. I'm blessed to have know him for many years, spending a great deal of time at dinners and various Chiefs' functions teasing and laughing together (including some jokes sent back forth via the US Postal Service!).
My thoughts and prayers are with his sweet wife, his family and extended family who now have a special angel looking over them. He leaves a huge void in the lives of all who knew him but an abundance of joyful memories to treasure and smile about. Rest easy Jack, you'll live on in our hearts and minds.
March 13, 2019
I would like to express my condolences to the Murphy family, I had the privilege of knowing Jack not only as a boss, but as a mentor and dear friend.
He was involved in my life since my childhood. He offered sound fatherly advice when needed, he truly was one of a kind. Through celebrations and sadness, as Chief he was a role model and really cared,
His dedication to police work was only surpassed by his dedication to his family.
Some of my fondest memories are:
The softball games between the police department and the fire department on memorial day.
His singing "Danny Boy" at the E.C.F.D. dinners.
His green station wagon and times at Hings with Charlie.
Once he changed the diaper of a resident's new born baby on her way home from the hospital, on summit street assisting the first time mom.
One nighttime in the back parking lot of 9W bowling alley when I was working, I called out and was arresting a burglar, we were fighting and his pillow case with the jewelry from two burglaries fell to the ground.- no back-up in sight and suddenly Jack in the old grey chief's car came screeching into the lot with Michelle in the front seat. We both got our man.
He was a cops cop, he would always go in first to any trouble to protect his officers.
When I became Chief, we really got close. I was honored to be on the Bergen County Chief's Executive Board with Jack Murphy. During the holidays, I would drive him to local hospitals meeting with other Chiefs and Santa to deliver presents to children, another program that Jack was instrumental in organizing.
Jack Murphy touched many lives and made this world a better place, he will be missed but not forgotten.
March 12, 2019
So many fond memories of working together, especially the golf outings. We had great times together at the Bergen County Police Chiefs affairs, too many to mention. My sincere condolences to the Murphy family on their loss. Rest in Peace my friend Jack, you earned it.
March 12, 2019
WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS MY SINCERE SADNESS ON JACK.S PASSING TO ALICE AND FAMILY, HE WAS A TRUE FRIEND AND APPRECIATE THE SPECIAL TIMES WE SPENT ON GOLF TRIPS ETC. WE SHARED MANY GREAT LAUGHS AND i AM HAPPY THAT I HELP SECURE HIS LEGACY BY NAMING THE BERGEN COUNTY CHIEFS GOLF OUTING AFTER HIM WHEN I WAS PRESIDENT IN 1999. OF COURSE DEEP DOWN I KNEW HE WAS PROUD. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND MAY THE LORD REST YOUR PRECIOUS SOUL. THE VOICE AND SHINING EYES MAY BE GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN. PETE MAZZEO
March 12, 2019
I was so sorry to hear of the passing of my friend and running mate. He was a wonderful man, great friend and mentor to me. I admired all those wonderful qualities that made him the special person that he was. He had intelligence, wit, charm and a caring heart that made him a great person. Sadly, there are few people like that in the world today. I will always be thankful that I had the opportunity to know "Murph". You have my deepest sympathy on your loss.
March 12, 2019
My fondest memory of Jack will always be as the only Irishman attending our regular dinners at Dominick's Restaurant in the Bronx. He was a kind and warm hearted man. May God Bless his soul.
March 12, 2019
I have had the honor of knowing Jack for the past 12 years. We first met as members of the Bergen County Chiefs Association.
He always took a great deal of pride and compassion in our Association and the Police Profession. I was fortunate to become friends with him since then. He was a great mentor and teacher. He carried himself with class and dignity and was tenacious when necessary. He was also one of the kindest and most considerate people I have ever met. He was the perfect Irish gentleman. Great husband to Alice and Father to all his children. I think all of our lives are richer because of the time we spent with Jack. RIP my good buddy.
March 12, 2019
OVER THE YEARS, WE HAD SO MANY GOOD TIMES, IT IS HARD TO PICK ONE. OF COURSE, I LOVED WHEN YOU AND ALICE SANG.
YOU WERE A GREAT CHIEF AND HELPED EVERY OFFICER.
NO QUESTION YOU LOVED YOUR FAMILY. THEY SHOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE HOW YOU WATCHED OVER THEM. I HOP[E THEY REMEMBER YOU EVERY DAY AND HELP ALICE OUT LIKE YOU WOULD HAVE WANTED,
HELEN AND I WILL GREATLY MISS SEEING AND TALKING TO YOU. I AM GLAD THAT I HAD A LONG TALK WITH YOU SEVERAL WEEKS AGO.
GET UP[ THERE AND LEAD THE CHOIR TO " DANNY BOY"
WITH ALL OUR LOVE !!!
MARTY & HELEN BARRETT
TILL WE MEET AGAIN MY CHIEF AND FRIEND
March 11, 2019
I got a call in 1989 from the Chief who told me “ the other guy quit, are you still interested in the job” i sure was and thank God every day since for that call. Thanks Chief!..it was an honor to work for you and a great honor to have you at my retirement party, the best honor however was getting to know your family and having a great friend in Brian. I will be sure to toast you this St. Patricks Day.
Rest in Peace.
March 11, 2019
I had the great fortune of meeting this remarkable man when I married his nephew Kevin. Our Uncle Jack was one of a kind. He was an amazing husband and father. A true and loyal friend. He was gentle and gracious. He always welcomed you with a smile and, if you were really lucky, he sang you an Irish song. I will miss his smile and sweet ways, but most of all I will miss hearing his lovely Irish voice. God bless. Liz
March 11, 2019
My sincere and heartfelt condolences to My friends the entire Murphy family. RIP Chief. Someone I knew when I was growing up watching my Dad play ball with ECPD. Later he became my boss and I tried very hard to separate my knowing him as “Jack” and calling him Captain Was difficult, to say the least. When he became Chief I really had to concentrate. 😃. I think I got to know him much better after he retired and we talked many an evening over a cocktail or two. I think I can say it now....RIP MY FRIEND, Jack.
Love this picture. They really knew how to have a good time.
March 9, 2019
God Bless you, Jack You were a friend and mentor to a young police Chief . I had a lifetime of adventures and laughs in your company. I most fondly remember trips around the United States to our police chiefs conferences along with Chief Walter Grossmann . Our travels to the countryside to “meet the locals” in various states were unforgettable . And you , Jack were the most interesting with you often serenading our new friends with song .
You are truly “one of a kind”’
Rest In Peace, my friend !