Rev. Joseph Murphy, Jr. of Essex Junction, Vt., went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday morning, November 21, 2020.
He was born in Lewiston, Maine, on January 20, 1932 to Joseph Murphy and Methyl Bickford Murphy. Methyl died on October 30, 1933. His dad remarried in 1940 to Libby Footer Bickford.
“Joey” (as his family called him) graduated from Lewiston High School. He held Vice President class office for two years and joined the football team to win the state championship in 1949 and 1950. He also participated in track and field and golf, and was voted “best looking” his senior year. In 1952 he enlisted into the US Army. While serving in Korea, he was wounded on Heartbreak Ridge in 1953, for which he received a Purple Heart.
In 1954-1956 he attended Portland Junior College. He went on to Boston University to study public relations from 1956-1958. He then returned home to teach at Monmouth and Sabbatus grade schools while also working at the family business, Murphy Monument Company where he would later meet and marry his wife Joan Johnson Allen. They set off for college at Elohim Bible Institute in Castile, N.Y. In 1973 they moved to Moscow, Vt., where he would be the pastor of the Grace Bible Church for 35 years. During his time there he also had a radio program over WDEV every week for 33 years called Moment of Decision. From 1993-2008 he served as a chaplain at the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury. In September 2009 he and Joan retired and moved to Essex Junction, where he continued to minister to everyone he met.
The Reverend is survived by his wife Joan and 5 children: daughter Kellianne Murphy of Galveston, Texas; son Rusty Vallee and wife Georgia of Oxford, Maine; daughter Colleen Clark and husband Scott of Otisfield, Maine; son Michael Allen and wife Karen of West Allis, Wis.; daughter Rachel Seavers and husband Bob of Essex Junction; 3 siblings: brother James Murphy of Minneapolis, Minn.; sister Sharon Sargent of Sarasota, Fla.; and sister Joanne Hammond of Auburn, Maine; 10 grandchildren: Tyler Guzman, Trevor Allen, Stephanie Goldade, Chelsea Layne, Jennifer Ritchie, Mahaliah Duncan, Mike Vallee, Sarah Taylor, Amanda Seavers, Andrew Seavers; and 7 great grandchildren: T.J. Guzman, Camilia Guzman, Victoria Guzman, Brooklyn Allen, Canaan Allen, Oliver Allen, Aiden Goldade.
Predeceased were his parents, sister Theresa Murphy Levasseur, brother Frances Michael Murphy, and daughter Lori Allen Taylor.
Joseph and Joan would have celebrated 50 years of marriage on February 12, 2021.
He will always be remembered for his love of golf and a big bowl of ice cream. He loved spending time with his grandchildren and knowing that they all have given their life to the Lord.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later time when all of his family and friends can attend safely. The family invites you to share your memories and condolences by visiting www.awrfh.com.