William J. Murphy ’47

Mystic - William "Bill" James Murphy of Mystic passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, after a brief illness. Bill was surrounded by his loving family over his final days and moved peacefully into the arms of our Lord. Bill was born to William and Irma Murphy, in Manhattan, N.Y., on Aug. 4, 1924. He graduated from Brooklyn Polytechnic with a degree in chemical engineering in 1947. He was a well-respected engineer and spent his entire career of 40 years with Pfizer Inc, working first in Brooklyn, N.Y. and for most of his career in Groton, with a four-year assignment in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His work was a great source of energy, pride, and long-lasting friendships. He retired as the production manager of organic operations in 1985.

Bill met the love of his life, Loretta LeBlanc, in New London in 1956. Bill would often recount how they met and how he quickly realized that Loretta was the girl for him. They married in 1957 and had 58 wonderful years together. In addition to Loretta, Bill is survived by his loving children, William Jr. of Stonington, Lynne Ferrigno and her husband, Kevin, of Manchester and Keith and his wife, Michelle, of Stonington. Bill adored his five grandchildren, Patrick, Conor, Matthew, Bryan and Jillian. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Theresa Cuddy; brother-in-law, Robert Coleman; and his many cherished nieces and nephews.

Although Bill was an only child, he grew up extremely close to his best friend Curt Hoera, who predeceased him. "Uncle" Curt was like a brother to Bill throughout their lives. Bill and Loretta raised their family in Gales Ferry, and enjoyed many summers at "the lake" in a rustic cottage on Lake Lashaway in East Brookfield, Mass. that has been the location for countless family gatherings and activities over the years. They were avid skiers for over 50 years and hosted family ski trips every year. His children will always remember the early morning call to the slopes, "Daylight's Burning!" Bill enjoyed many other activities, including Instant Theatre, bridge, golf, and duck pin bowling. He enjoyed rooting for his sports teams, especially the Giants, Mets, UConn and Notre Dame.

Bill was very active in his parish, Our Lady of Lourdes, in Gales Ferry. He was the long-time head of the finance committee, a eucharistic minister and he and Loretta were famous for their "Book Booth" fundraiser which they ran for over 20 years as part of the annual church festival. Bill was a founding member and the first president of the Thames Ski Club. He was also a long-time member and a past president of the New London Thames Club. After retiring from Pfizer, Bill worked with the United Way for several years helping to coordinate their annual campaigns