Michael John Murphy M.D.

November 18, 1941June 25, 2012

Dr. Michael Murphy, brilliant and beloved physician, died Monday evening, June 25, 2012, at the age of 70. He was born November 18, 1941, at Fort Lewis, Washington and has lived in and loved the Yakima Valley since 1973. He attended Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, and the University of Washington for undergraduate and medical school. He interned at Los Angeles County Hospital and did residencies at Long Beach Memorial Hospital and the University of Iowa in otorhinolaryngology. His memberships included the Yakima County Medical Society, the Washington State Medical Society, American Medical Association, the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Otolaryngology Allergy, the Yakima Surgical Society, the American Cleft Palate Association, and the Alliance of Continuing Medical Education.

He participated in numerous professional boards, including being a reviewing member of the Washington State Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Committee. It was paramount to him that high quality medical services be provided in our community.

Community service was his passion. The Boy Scouts took him all over the world to encourage youth to commit to a life of quality citizenry. He was a two-time president of the Grand Columbia Council. He also served on the Western Region Board. In 2006, he became a member of the World Scouting Foundation – Baden Powell. He received Boy Scouts of America awards including: District Award of Merit, the Silver Beaver award, the Silver Antelope award, the Centennial Leadership Award, and the Cliff Dochterman Community Service Award.

He was committed to Service Above Self through Yakima Rotary as a member since 1976. He had the great honor of presiding as President of Rotary in 2001-2002.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Diane Murphy, and his children, Shawn Murphy and Megan Murphy, all of Yakima. He is also survived by his siblings: Mary Ann Murphy, Irene Matlock and Helen Matlock, all of Spokane, Kathleen Matlock of Port Townsend, Bonnie Francis of Menlo Park, California, and Skipper Matlock of Bellevue.

With heartfelt thanks from Dr. Murphy to Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center: Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital; the physicians, staff, and volunteers of North Star Lodge, and especially the loyalty of friends.

A Memorial Celebration will be held at the Capitol Theatre on July 7, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.

Memorial contributions are requested to the North Star Lodge through the Memorial Foundation or the Boy Scouts of America Grand Columbia Council c/o Keith & Keith Funeral Home, 902 W. Yakima Avenue, Yakima, WA 98902.

To share a memory, please visit


  • Celebration of Life Tribute Service Saturday, July 7, 2012

Michael John Murphy M.D.

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Sharon Kollmar

July 10, 2012

Our family is so sorry for your loss. Dr. Murphy has taken care of our children and grandchildren for years. Off they would go in the little red wagon for surgeries, may of them numerous times, as we the parents and grandparents were left to await the results, always confident that Dr. Murphy was giving them the best care possible. He touched our hearts. The Kollmar Family and Samuel Smoot of Grandview

Cathi Matson

July 8, 2012

Dr. Murphy was the first doctor I visited when we moved to Yakima. I was waking up every morning with a sore throat that he diagnosed was due to allergies. He took care of my allergies and eventually my entire family's. I always smile thinking of the diagrams he would draw on a prescription pad to illustrate his point. My deepest sympathy to his family.

July 6, 2012

I'm now 53, and Dr. Murphy has seen me and my messed-up head since I was 16 years old. Onery, insightfull, intelligent and quick, I enjoyed my many visits with him (perhaps not the surgeries though). He could converse on any topic, and I always felt he was honest and forthright in his assesments and opinions. I loved seeing him as Santa at the Rotery Christmas, handing out gold coins to the children. A good man has begun his new journey, and I am better for having known him during his journey in this world. Jerry Courcy

July 5, 2012

Dear Diane, Shawn and Megan, our prayers and thoughts are with you at this time of loss. Mike was a giant of a man --well respected and loved by all who knew him. Emil was lucky enough to have him as his doctor for some years. He always seemed to know just the right thing to say and give the right 'recipe' for a cure. He touched the lives of so many in a meaningful and thoughtful way. He will be missed. Joan and Emil Kluck, (Everett, WA)

Danielle York

July 1, 2012

Dr Murphy was wonderful doctor. He treated my mother and myself over the years with true compassion! My thoughts and prayers are with his family!

Bonnie Matlock

June 30, 2012

I just uploaded to this site some fun pictures from the surprise 70th birthday party the family had for Mike in Spokane in mid-November. It was a great party and we are all so glad we had the chance to honor and celebrate with Michael...just a short 7 months ago. The theme of the party was to dress up like Mike at some point in his life. Some of us dressed up as boy scouts, because of MIke's years of dedication to the Boy Scouts. Some of us dressed up as Lewis and Clark students, cause that's where Mike went to high school and was voted senior class president. Some of us dressed up as University of Washington students cause that's where Mike went to college and graduated first in his class at Med School. Some of us dressed up as fly fishermen cause Mike loved to fly fish and truly enjoyed the many outdoor wonders of the pacific northwest. One of us dressed up as an Olympia Beer Label (4 dot), which you would have to lived in Washington State in the 70's to understand. Then for the group shot we all held up a mask picture of Mike when he was younger.

I feel so fortunate to have had Mike as my brother and I am really going to miss him a lot. He was the best big brother anyone could have.

Armetha Smiskin

June 30, 2012

A wonderful man who helped and cared for my 3 sons. If it was not for him my sons would be sick and my sobs always knew Dr. Murphy would help them feel better. He always shared history with us nd we talked about the Yakama Culture as well. We will mss him just as much as we found out about his retirement. Our condolences to his wife and family. Thank you for sharing Dr. Murphy.

Alaina Duvall

June 30, 2012

Hi I just want to express my condolensces to Dr. Murphys Family, Friends and staff members! I was one of Dr. Murphys patients and i have to say i would not have my hearing if it wasnt for Dr. Murphy and i thank him so much for his expertise and his kindness and his caring personality may Dr. Murphy rest in peace and may god be with his loved ones including staff!. I now live in louisiana and i am doing great. thanks to dr. murphy

Lynnette Cook Herz

June 29, 2012

I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Dr. Murphy and Diane when I was Shawn's 1st Grade teacher at Gilbert. I am so very sorry to read of Dr. Murphy's passing. The Murphy's were gentle, sweet, kind and wonderful parents to work with. Shawn exemplified the kind of quality parents he had caring and guiding him in life. I pray you all may find a measure of peace and comfort through your special memories of him.

June 29, 2012

I was saddened to learn of Dr. Murphy's passing. When I first came to Yakima I was treated by the doctor and as a consequence developed a real respect for him. He made me feel welcome to the community and displayed a genuine friendliness that lasted over the years we were in the city. He had no false airs and was as genuine as they come. Yakima has lost a truly fine individual who will be missed. Our condolences to the family. Bill and Judy Pittman