Mechanic 03

Thomas "Tom" John Murphy

November 18, 1942 ~ March 30, 2024 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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Thomas "Tom" Murphy Obituary

Thomas John Murphy, “Tom,” “Murph,” “Papa,” age 81, of Brook Street in Easthampton died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving children on Saturday night, March 30, 2024, following a short battle with cancer.

He was born on November 18, 1942, in Greenfield, MA and was the son of the late Robert Murphy and Marion (Palin) Murphy of Greenfield, MA. Thomas was raised and educated in Greenfield, MA, where he attended the Holy Trinity School and then graduated Greenfield High School with the class of 1960. Tom was an athlete in high school playing for the football, baseball, and basketball teams. In addition, and confirmed by years of storytelling by Tom and his three brothers, he was quite a “hellraiser” always enjoying adventures such as beer drinking, car racing, and snake catching with the “Murphy Boys,” and being the life of the party.

After high school, Tom started his apprenticeship in the plumbing trade with Harrison and Son of Greenfield. He joined the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local in 1963. He went on to attain his MA and CT Journeyman Licenses, Master Plumber License and MA Pipefitter License along with numerous other certifications. Tom was a graduate of the UA Instructor Training Program at Purdue and Michigan State Universities and began teaching apprentices in the 1960’s for the Plumbers/Pipefitters local 406/64/104 Apprenticeship programs. “Murph” loved teaching and did so for over 50 years until shortly before his death in 2024. He had a tough love attitude with his students coupled with a witty and fun sense of humor. He gave old-school style tests, still handwritten, and would do anything to help his students succeed, no doubt ensuring that a countless number of apprentices passed their licensure exams. Tom was the Easthampton Plumbing and Gas Inspector for over 40 years and was well known and loved by the community.

Tom was drafted by the United States Army in 1964. He attended Basic training, Advanced Infantry, Parachute Jump School, Parachute Packing and Airdrop, and Parachute Rigging School at the Quartermaster School in Fort Lee, Virginia. He served in the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky earning a Parachutist Badge and an Expert badge (Rifle) from the Airborne School along with “Specialty Parachute Rigger-Heavy Loads.” Tom enjoyed sharing stories of his “jumps” with his family. He received Honorable Discharge from the 101st Airborne in 1966 and was later discharged honorably from the United States Army Reserves in 1970.

Later in his career, Tom was a foreman for many construction projects which included laying out the work for other trades on sites, some of which were the Chicopee High School build, the Smith College Science addition and remodel, the Smith College remodeling of dorm rooms, the Amherst College boiler plant project, the Amherst College housing project, the Vernon Nuclear Plant and the shutdown of the Vernon Nuclear Plant, Barnes Airport, the Northfield Mountain Project, the UMASS Parking Garage, Erving Elementary School, the Franklin County Hospital Addition, the Howard Johnson Hotel in Greenfield, the Colonial Hilton Hotel in Northampton, the Mercy Hospital Oncology Addition, the Holyoke Mall expansion and parking garage, and multiple water waste treatment plants located throughout MA and CT including Easthampton’s. 

Tom met and fell in love with Joanne (Pollard) Murphy at the Bernardston Inn, and they were married on May 11, 1968, in Greenfield at the Holy Trinity Church. They enjoyed 49 years together as husband, wife, and best friends until Joanne’s passing in 2017. Tom was a fun, energetic, and loving father to his four children. The family home was always the hub of the neighborhood and the hangout for neighboring kids. In the spring, Tom lined a baseball field in the yard. In the summertime, he would spend hours cleaning the pool just so his children and their friends could jump in for a few minutes, and in the winter, you could find an ice rink in the yard. The family always had the biggest Christmas tree possible that would fit in the living room and the most wonderful celebrations due to Tom’s great sense of humor. He was tough, but with a sensitive side exemplifying the values of hard work and love for family.

Tom, with three daughters and with granddaughters, attended many dance recitals, always with a smile on his face, and a bouquet in hand for the performer. Tom was a youth softball coach for Easthampton Lassie League, and for his three daughters’ teams, and became the President of the Easthampton Softball League in 1986. He planned and revamped the fields at Nonotuck Park and built the Snack Shack. He also coached his son’s youth baseball teams for the Easthampton Baseball League. Tom taught himself the game of hockey by reading books on the subject, giving him the ability to coach his son’s youth hockey teams. He was on the Board of Directors for the Easthampton Hockey League and was the first winner of the “John Warnez Coach of the Year Award.”

Tom had a love for sports especially the Boston sports teams, Bruins, Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and UMass hockey. He enjoyed attending sports events to watch his grandchildren play, but attended any events related to his six grandchildren who were his pride and joy.

Tom was always willing to go out of his way to help others and was the safety net for his family. He helped everyone with projects, he was extremely smart and an extraordinary craftsman able to build or fix almost anything. He always strived to do things the right way, all while proclaiming “You can’t see it from my house.” He could always be counted on for good advice or to make a list to help you organize.

In his later years, Tom enjoyed hobbies such as woodworking, and had built a full woodshop in his basement. He developed a love for houseplants and enjoyed tending to, propagating, and watching them grow. He loved word search puzzles and going out to eat with his family. He especially loved the Easthampton Diner and the Nordic (all you can eat seafood buffet). Most family celebrations were held at his house, and he was the life of every party.

An expression that Tom often used was “Only the good die young, I’m going to live forever.” As suspected, Tom was more than “good,” he was one of the best, and undoubtedly will live forever in the hearts and minds of all who were lucky enough to have known him.

Tom is survived by his four loving children, Kevin Murphy and significant other, Katie Pelkey of Turners Falls, Kelly Murphy Holve of Feeding Hills, Dawn Day of South Deerfield, and Melissa Murphy and husband Paul Blanton of Chicopee. He is survived by his six loved and cherished grandchildren, Emily, Madeline, and Lucas Day of South Deerfield, Shawn Murphy and Christian Blanton of Chicopee, and Joanne Murphy of Turners Falls.

Tom was predeceased by his wife Joanne, his granddaughter Jessica, his three brothers, Robert, Francis, and Michael, and his sister Katherine.

Calling hours will be Sunday, April 7th from 4pm-7pm and open to the public at Graham Funeral Home in Easthampton. A Memorial Service will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers it is requested memorial contributions in Tom’s name be made to the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 104 Scholarship Fund, 86 Lower Westfield Road, Holyoke MA, 01040.

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Services

Calling Hours
Sunday
April 7, 2024

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Graham Funeral Home & Cremation Services
18 Adams St.
Easthampton, MA 01027

Private Graveside Service

Brookside Cemetery, Easthampton

Donations

Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 104 Scholarship Fund
86 Lower Westfield Road, Holyoke MA 01040

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