This page is sacred to the memory of Francis B. Murphy
‘…To ask a prayer, to stir a memory.’
Access funeral booklet: Frank Murphy
FRANCIS BRENDAN MURPHY
Frank was born in Ganmain on 10th April 1932 and was the second youngest of 11 children to John Francis and Mary Bridget Murphy. Frank completed his primary education at St Brendan’s School, Ganmain and his secondary education at St Gregory’s College, Campbelltown.
Frank commenced his working life at Mellor & Murphy, a family owned business in Ganmain. His father passed away in 1949 when Frank was 17. He continued working in the family business while living in Ganmain and was passionate about his Aussie Rules Football. He played for Ganmain in the Riverina League, winning 7 premierships in nine years. Unfortunately, his football career came to an abrupt end when he collided with a goal post, damaging his eye socket and retiring from footy in his mid-twenties.
He met a good-looking sort just nine miles down the road at Coolamon and he then married Noela Mary McDevitt on the 17th March 1957 at St Michael’s church, Coolamon. After their first two children, Bryan and Maureen were born, Frank and Noela moved to Coolamon where he managed an agribusiness, Logan & Hitchen’s. During this time 4 more boys were born, twins John and Anthony, followed by Michael and Peter. All six children were born within a short space of 7 years in Wagga.
Frank managed Logan & Hitchen’s for 9 years before being offered a job as a grain rep for a Melbourne grain company. The position required a lot of travel and it wasn’t long before he started missing his family. He then secured a job as the manager of Barastoc Stock Feeds here in Corowa.
Frank’s family were warmly welcomed to Corowa with 4 children attending St Mary’s Primary School and the 2 eldest attending the High School. Later, Frank arranged for Maureen to board at St Joseph’s College in Albury, and for John, Anthony and Michael to board at Salesian College in Sunbury.
Within a short space of time Frank became involved in the local community and was appointed as Chairman of St Mary’s Parents and Friends and later Chairman of the Parish Council. He was a keen member of St Mary’s Choir singing for weekly Masses, weddings and funerals for the next 40 years. Frank’s love of his community continued with his appointment as president of the Corowa Rotary Club and Vice President of the Corowa Bowling Club.
Frank was looking for a career change, and had a vision of setting up a real estate business for himself and his sons. But first and foremost he wanted to take Noela on the ‘trip of a lifetime’. They headed overseas to Europe and loved experiencing Ireland, Lourdes and Medjugorje amongst other memorable locations. On arriving home Frank and his son Michael established a real estate business – F.B. Murphy and Sons – which thrived over time and allowed for the employment of two other sons, John and Anthony. The business continued for 25 years.
Every morning Frank walked down the street from the office to run an errand. One short stroll could take as long as an hour by chatting with anyone who was in for a yarn, and giving everyone nod and a wave. He used to jokingly complain about how it cost him two dollars to walk down the street, because he couldn’t walk past the raffle ladies without buying a ticket.
Frank had proven throughout his life that he was an astute businessman. He was good with numbers, names and faces, and was respected by all who met him, and by those who had business dealings with him.
He was a loving, loyal and supportive husband and father to his family, his extended family, his church and the Corowa community as a whole. His friends will remember him for his strong Christian beliefs, his sense of duty and his loving concern for all.
To give you an idea of the sort of person Frank was: he dedicated so much of his own time to singing at other people’s funerals that, over 40 years, we estimate that he sang at nearly 1,000 funerals here in this church. Frank did this for no other reason than to help others to celebrate their lives and to give the departed a fitting send-off.
Another example of Frank’s qualities was when he left Coolamon to move to Corowa. Rather than leave Noela’s parents behind, Frank encouraged them to come with them. Can you imagine living with 6 children, your wife, and your parents-in-law in a 3-bedroom home with a sleepout? Fortunately, by throwing the 5 boys into the sleepout, Frank made it all work.
Frank and Noela were adamant that the whole family had their annual beach holiday. Somehow he managed to fit everyone in the car, plus the dog, while towing a caravan across the mountains down to the coast, and making sure that everyone enjoyed themselves. Believe me, this was no mean feat.
While today is a sad day in that we’re farewelling Frank Murphy, we should take a moment to reflect on and celebrate a magnificent life well lived.
Frank accomplished an enormous amount in both his personal and professional life. His greatest legacy is the family he leaves behind, his wife Noela, his 6 children, 16 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
Frank always loved a joke and a smile. Keep smiling from up above, Frank. We will all miss you, and may you live on in our hearts forever.
Compiled by family; delivered by Michael Malloy (son-in-law).
May Frank’s soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
“I am the resurrection and the life,
says the Lord,
He who believes in me will not die forever.”