- As a public servant and as a volunteer, Murphy remembered for his devotion to Boone County
Posted Sep. 19, 2016 at 9:37 PM
BELVIDERE — Whether he was serving Belvidere Township or devoting time to the community's youth and the elderly, Belvidere Township Supervisor Patrick Murphy touched the lives of many.
Murphy died Friday after complications with a cyst, friends said. He was 67, and leaves behind a legacy in Belvidere, serving as alderman, mayor and with various public boards, while also providing opportunities for residents.
"He was a strong, dedicated leader," County Board Chairman Bob Walberg said. "He was always well-meaning, he was sincere and loved the community. He always tried to do what was right."
Murphy worked until his final days. On the township website, he posted a statement in relation to the Sept. 7 collision involving a school bus at the intersection of Orth and Beloit roads.
"Belvidere Township was saddened and appalled to learn about the accident at Beloit and Orth roads involving a school bus, which resulted in the injury of several children. I am thankful that there were apparently no serious injuries," Murphy wrote. "We are continuing to work with the Road District, the Sheriff's office, Caledonia Township and others to determine if we need to do a traffic study of this particular intersection and other intersections that may need additional traffic control devices, or whether there is anything else that we need to be doing to improve the safety of all drivers."
A four-way stop sign was installed at the intersection today.
Murphy served on the board of directors for the Boone County Council on Aging Keen Age Center. The 12,800-square-foot center opened in 2001, and offers volunteer and professional services. Murphy was crucial to the center ever happening, Executive Director Joe Fortmann said.
"In short, there would be no Boone County Council on Aging if not for the vision and actions of Mr. Murphy," Fortmann said in an email. "He saw the need and took the action necessary to get the Keen Age Center building project under way and complete."
Richard Nelson, a Belvidere Township trustee, served on the board of directors for the Keen Age Center, then later reconnected with him when they served the township together.
Murphy served on the I.O.U. Club, which host events for Belvidere youngsters such as the Halloween Parade and the Easter egg hunt.
"He always had Boone County seniors and children in his heart," Nelson said.
Murphy made it possible for the Flaming Monkeys 4-H FIRST Robotics Competition Team in Belvidere to use the basement of the community building for space.
"Patrick not only supported our local teams, but was a champion of FIRST, as evidenced by him being awarded the 2014 Rock River Off-Season Competition 'Make It Loud' award, presented to individuals who do the most in the community for spreading the word of local teams and FIRST," the Flaming Monkeys posted to their Facebook page Friday evening.
A video posted to the Flaming Monkeys Facebook page in 2014 shows team members dumping a bucket of ice water on Murphy as part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
Debbie Carlson, a former trustee, said she has a photo of Murphy dressed as Santa Claus for Christmas. In the 1980s, they worked together to bring the recycling center to Belvidere.
"Eventually it was taken over by local recyclers, but the true grassroots of it was the city and township of Belvidere," Carlson said, adding he "showed good stewardship.
"He cared about the community," she said. "He was an advocate for many different organizations to do good things in the community, and provide tools do to something."
Adam Poulisse: 815-987-1344;
Patrick J. Murphy
January 5, 1949 - September 16, 2016
Patrick J. Murphy, 67, of Belvidere, passed away suddenly, September 16, 2016. He was born January 5, 1949 in Ottumwa, IA, son of Ted and Mary (Darner) Murphy. Patrick graduated from Ottumwa High School in 1967, and went on to attend the University of Iowa. He was a prominent member of the community. Patrick was the Belvidere Township supervisor, served as Mayor of Belvidere, and was a devoted IOU member; he belonged to numerous boards and committees within the community and state. Patrick loved helping people, and being involved in the community. He loved his grandchildren, and adored music. His positive aura was infectious.
Patrick is loved and missed by his children, Ryan (Dominika) Murphy, Tim (Lindsay) Murphy, Sean Murphy; grandchildren, Patryk Murphy, Solomon Murphy, Mila Murphy; siblings, Deborah Dyer, and Robert (Sharon) Murphy; 25 nieces and nephews; mothers of his children, Lori Murphy-Remiker, and Pam Murphy. He is preceded in death by his mother, Mary Williamson, father, Ted Murphy, stepfather, Brick Williamson, sister, Phyllis Murphy-Acton, and niece, Kathy Murphy.
Funeral Service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the Belvidere Community Building, 111 W. 1st Street, Belvidere, IL 61008. A visitation will be held from 3:00-8:00 p.m., Friday, September 23, 2016 at the Belvidere Community Building. Burial will take place in Belvidere Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family for a fund to be established at a later date. To light a candle or share a condolence, please visit www.AndersonFCS.com.