Wednesday, February 20, 2019
11:00 AM EST
St Genevieve-St Maurice Catholic Church
29015 Jamison Street
Livonia, MI 48154
In-state at 10:30 am
Life Story / Obituary
Jerry Murphy was a man of strong family values. He modeled a life rich with hard work, putting others first, and being a loyal husband to the woman he loved. Jerry had a real knack for putting others at ease and never took anything in life too seriously. Always more than willing to lend a helping hand, he found great pleasure in sharing his time and resources with others. His warm personality, cheerful demeanor, and steady patience will be lovingly remembered for generations to come.
The Thirties were being marked by tough economic times, yet the decade also saw an expansion of new technologies, especially in the fields of aviation, radio, and film. In 1936 for example, Kodachrome was invented and remained a leader in both cinematography and still photography for many years. In the same year, the Boulder Dam, later renamed the Hoover Dam, was completed and Jesse Owens dominated the Berlin Olympics. Bringing great joy to their world, Mabel and Norman Murphy welcomed their newborn baby boy, Gerald, on November 15th, to their home at 7119 Lexington Street in Detroit, Michigan. Joining his older sister, Eileen and later joined by his younger siblings, David and Noreen, his birth brought much joy and happiness to their loving family home.
Jerry lived a typical childhood of the times and managed to muster up mischief with his younger brother, David from time to time. Once, Jerry and his brother David wanted to go outside to play but their mother told them no. So, David opened the back door to the house and slammed it. Jerry said, 'Mom, David just went outside!' to which their mother responded 'Go get your brother!' He then left the house and 15 minutes later, David (already inside the house) told their mother that Jerry had gone outside! Another time they were told they couldn’t go swimming at the public pool in town, yet they borrowed their neighbor girls’ bikes and took off anyway. After enjoying a day of swimming they returned home and denied they were there when questioned. Much to their surprise, a newspaper reporter was at the pool that day taking pictures and when their father revealed their photo on the front page of the paper they were busted! Jerry attended All Saints School in his elementary years. Later the family moved to 10022 Marion and he started at Cooley High School. Known as a favorite among the ladies he loved to show off by drag racing down Schoolcraft Road. He was also active in the Glee Club which only added to the strong attraction from the female students who were competing for his attention. Graduating with the Class of 1957 on January 25th, he was sent off with encouragement to seek gainful employment, but never to settle for ditch digging! Jerry landed with the Wayne County Drain Commission working his way up to supervisor. Remarkably, he remained there for forty-two years before he retired in 1998.
Not to be forgotten however was the meeting of the woman who would change the course of his life forever, Cookie (Mildred) Boor! The two of them shared many commonalities and were eager to start a family of their own. Joining in marriage on May 16, 1959, at Epiphany Parish the happy couple had great plans for their future. Together they raised three wonderful children; Donna, Jerrie Lynn, and Jacqueline. As a father, Jerry was always supportive and encouraging of his children. He wanted nothing than the very best for each of them. He was the type of dad who accepted their shortcomings and mistakes by letting them find their own way. Even if his heart was breaking in the midst of their troubles, he remained silent as he watched them carve their own paths. Jerry was there each and every time they needed him. He often lectured them yet deep down he held a deep pride and faith in each of them over the years. His family was indeed his greatest treasure.
As a family, they created countless lasting memories together. His sense of humor was welcome with the family, especially on vacations. If his kids really needed his attention during vacations, they had to shout “Uncle Jerry”, as he rarely answered to dad. Many of their summers were spent on Mullet Lake joined by extended family.Typically, Jerry's family and his brother David's family would travel up north for two weeks in July, renting a cabin on Mullet Lake. All eight kids and three adults shared a two bedroom one bathroom cabin. Jerry and his brother were known to always pack plenty of refreshments, often multiple cases of beer before even considering packing the family's clothes! They also spent time with Uncle David’s family and the Juergens family at Lake Somerset in Jackson, Michigan. Whenever friends and family were gathered, there was surely a good time had by all! They enjoyed many afternoons boating, swimming, and fishing to their heart’s content. When Jerry’s nephews were older and he traveled back up north with them one year he crumbled up his potato chip bag and tossed it on the floor of their car. When Dave and John asked him why he did that, Jerry teased them about the fact that they used to do that to him when they were kids! There was never a dull moment with him!
Retirement afforded Jerry the time for many of his greatest pleasures in life. He and Cookie moved up north by 1999 where he continued his passion for being on the water. He enjoyed many fishing trips and boating. He also loved to attend boat and car shows. Once while fishing on Lake Erie he and his brother, David, his nephews, and daughter, they got lost in the fog. Luckily, they made it back safely, but they never forgot that day and often shared the story over the years. He and David took a cruise to St. Thomas together where they enjoyed fishing and relaxing on the beautiful shoreline. A favorite memory for Jerry was his experience aboard the Coast Guard’s Mackinaw icebreaker! He took its final voyage back in 2006 from the Cheboygan River to Mackinaw City. Jerry also enjoyed visiting the local casinos and played the daily lottery. On occasion he was lucky, but deep down he already knew his real luck came from the love of his family. Blessed beyond measure for all of their special memories together, he was grateful for the closeness they had shared over the years. Nothing could ever replace their happiness with one another. Jerry’s greatest legacy will be to always look on the bright side of life and to put family first. May his many loved ones and special friends be comforted in knowing that he loved them beyond measure.
Gerald Murphy, age 82, of Cheboygan, Michigan passed away February 13th, 2019. Beloved husband of the late, Mildred “Cookie.” Cherished father of Donna (Peter) Petrovich, Jerrie Lynn Wischmeyer, Jacqueline (Kevin) Daum. Dearest grandfather of Timothy (Stephanie) Petrovich, Andrew (Kathleen) Petrovich, Joshua Wischmeyer, Cheri Lynn (Andrew) Gron, Zachary Wischmeyer, and Erynn (Brian) Kuderik. Loving great-grandfather of Jacquelynn Petrovich, Issabella Petrovich, and McKinley Wischmeyer. Brother of Noreen Marsh and the late, David Murphy and Eileen Novak. A visitation will be Tuesday, February 19 from 2-8 pm with a Rosary at 7 pm at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Road, Livonia. Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, February 20, at 11 am with an instate at 10:30 am at St. Genevieve St. Maurice Catholic Church, 29015 Jamison St. Livonia, 48154. To share a favorite memory and/or photo of Gerald and to sign the online guestbook, please visit www.turowskifuneralhome.com.