Robert Eugene Murphy passed away at the age of 92 on April 12th at St. John’s Hospice. Heaven has gained a storyteller!
Bob was born in Springfield on August 7, 1925, the son of Beulah and Jesse Murphy. He married Betsey Shoemaker in Pearl City, Hawaii, on November 28, 1945. At the time of her death in October of 2006, they had been married for 61 years. Also preceding him in death were his parents; his sisters, Wanda Law, Kathleen Lamsargis, Bernadine Langford; and brother, Jerald Murphy.
While attending Springfield High, Bob worked for Armbruster Tents and left to enlist in the U.S. Navy as a Seabee when WWII started. While stationed in Hawaii, he met Betsey, a Navy Wave. The two of them were very proud to have served in the military and stayed in contact with their Navy friends and hosted many reunions. In 2011, he was able to go on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., with his son as his escort. Bob was rarely without his WWII Navy Veteran hat.
For many years, Bob worked at Joe’s Auto Radiator Shop in Springfield and later became the owner.
In 1956, Bob and Betsey moved to Divernon to raise their four children. Bob served on the Divernon Village Board and was proud to serve as President of the Divernon Sportsman’s Club for many years. He also was a volunteer firefighter. He loved living in Divernon. His annual birthday parties that he hosted were legendary!
Bob was active in the Ansar Shrine, serving as Commander of the Legion of Honor in 1968 and as Assistant Parade Marshall for many years. He was also a member of the Ansar LOH Championship Drill Teams. Bob and Betsey spent many winters in Hawaii and because of the friendships made there, Bob was surprised with the honor of being named an Honorary member of Aloha Temple in Honolulu. Bob was a lifetime member of the American Legion and VFW.
Bob loved the St. Louis Cardinals and rarely missed watching a game. For many years, he was a pitcher in fastpitch softball leagues in central Illinois and was known for his knuckle ball.
In the past few years, Bob resided at Wyndcrest Assisted Living in Rochester. The family would like to thank Tami Foster and staff for the wonderful care he received. Thank you also to Dr. Mark Hansen, Bob’s personal physician, who has been of great assistance to Bob and his family as he has made this final journey.
Bob is survived by his children: Pat of Mesa, AZ; Mary Jo Atchison (Chris) of Iowa City, IA; Jeanne Dwyer of Yorkville; Mike (Cindy) of Springfield. He has seven grandchildren: Jennifer Boyd, Stacy Reed, Shannon Gehrt, Michael Atchison, Joe Dwyer, Bobby Murphy, and Megan Crouch. There are 12 great grandchildren. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 9 a.m. till time of services at 11 a.m., Monday, April 16, 2018 at Bramley Funeral Home, Divernon. Burial will be in Brush Creek Cemetery, Divernon with military honors conducted by the Auburn VFW and American Legion.
Memorials may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis, MO.