September 8, 2008

Former Mayor Walter Murphy dead

Walter J. Murphy, 89, mayor of Bristol from 1959-1963,died on Friday at Ingraham Manor.
the widower of Cecile (Duquette) Murphy, Murphy was born in Hartford on Sept. 30, 1918, and was a son of the late Lillian (Casey) Murphy and Walter J. Murphy Sr.
He was a graduate of St. Joseph School and Bristol High School, and took special courses at Hillyer College. He entered military service in 1940 and graduated from the Air Force Cadets as a pilot in June 1943.
He and Cecile Duquette of Bristol were married in a military ceremony on his graduation day.
Murphy served throughout Europe as an unarmed reconnaissance pilot and was the recipient of several medals and awards including the Air Medal plus a triple award of the Bronze Service Star for European campaigns. His flying duties abroad included numerous towing and test pilot flights and the flying of various V.I.P. Army officers.
Upon his return to the United States he worked in the real estate appraisal field. He was appointed chief assessor for the city of Bristol by former mayor Daniel Donovan. This was followed by appointment to the Federal Housing Administration where he served as appraiser and sub-division valuator forConnecticut as well as special assignments for the state of California. Later, he formed his own private professional appraisal and revaluation firm.
He was elected mayor of Bristol in 1959 and served two full terms to 1963. He declined to run for a third term as mayor and returned to redevelopment as director in Portsmouth, N.H. for the ensuing 10 years. His work in Portsmouth included the historic Strawbery Banke area.
He then started and completed Portsmouth's downtown renewal project. Following its completion, he was selected to head up the Northampton, Mass., redevelopment and financing authority. This carried through the ensuing seven years.
Murphy returned to Bristol in 1983 to oversee the construction and marketing of 229 Technology Park where he remained until his retirement in 1991.
Murphy is survived by a daughter and son in law, Denise and Robert Marcella of Watertown; a grandson, Matthew Marcella and his wife, Jamie, and a great grandson, Jonathan Marcella. He was predeceased by a sister, Teresa Facey.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 9 a.m. from Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave., Bristol, to St. Gregory Church for a Mass of Christian burial at 10 a.m. Burial, with military honors, will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bristol. Visiting hours at the funeral home are 6 and 8 p.m. on Monday.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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Anonymous said...

A good man and a relevant piece of Bristol history has passed away.


Anonymous said...

might have been a bit more compassionate for this article to read "Former Mayor Murphy Expires or Passes On" versus "Former Mayor Murphy dead" - unbelievable, no respect at all.

Steve Collins said...

Coupons expire. People die. It's not compassionate to say indirectly what ought be said clearly and directly.
The joy of the English language is that we have good, strong words. I prefer to use them.

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Anonymous said...

spoken like a true atheist