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John Martin Murphy

April 18, 1940 ~ March 18, 2020 (age 79)


“I have a plan, but it has to wait until after St. Patrick’s Day.” True to his word, John Martin Murphy, 79, of Union Dale, passed away on the morning of March 18, one day after St. Patrick’s Day, surrounded by love.

Born April 18, 1940, in Scranton, he was the son of the late Martin and Nan (Burke) Murphy. John graduated from South Scranton Central Catholic High School in 1957 and enlisted in the United States Marine Corp directly out of high school. He was stationed in Africa and traveled the world as a middleweight boxer representing the marines before returning home as rank sergeant to Pearl in 1961.

Over the next three decades, John and Pearl grew their family to double-digits, moved from Scranton to Clifford before settling in Uniondale, and built their business, Murphy Well Drilling. After family, water well drilling was their life’s work. Murphy Drilling continues to operate 50 years later under the leadership of son Joe; the business survives because it was, and remains, a labor of love—built on solid principles of hard work, fairness, and integrity.

John and Pearl were an institution in Uniondale and surrounding areas. Not only for their large, colorful array of offspring (oh, you’re another Murphy!) but also because of their open hearts and good will for anyone who needed a hand, hot meal, or cold drink. John loved people and there was nothing that pleased him more than visitors. His ability to make people feel comfortable and welcomed was uncanny; he never turned a person away or was too busy for a song. John’s engagement with the world gave him genuine presence and deepness. But as much as he loved the world, he loved his wife Pearl most of all. For his stories, she provided facts. For his socializing, she said it’s time for bed. He was Dad, and she was Mom—all to the great benefit of their children and beyond. There could never be a doubt in any of their children’s minds that they had two parents who loved them uniquely, fiercely, unconditionally, and boundlessly. John and Pearl’s love for each other was their greatest gift to each other, their family, and the world; endless people benefit from it today, and will continue in the years to come.

Surviving are nine children, John Murphy, Jr., Union Dale; Kathy Demianovich and husband Stephen, Forest City; Margaret Murphy, Browndale; Donna Marie Foster and husband John, Morgantown WV; Carol Ann Murphy, Wayne, NJ; Michael Murphy, Union Dale; Joseph Murphy and wife Donna, Thompson; Patrick Murphy and wife Marily, Union Dale; and Coleen Alexander and husband Matthew, Catskill, NY; four sisters Ann Shields, Scranton; Mary Coolbaugh, Pittston; Patricia Burke, Scranton; Margaret (Peggy) Kasson, Front Royal,VA; one brother, James, Scranton, and over a hundred nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

John was preceded in death by his wife Pearl; an infant son James; brother Martin; and grand-children Justin and Sara.

With respect to current issues, viewing and funeral services are private from the Kevin M. Lesjack Funeral Home, 513 Main Street, Forest City.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Martin Murphy, please visit our floral store.


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