James M. Murphy
Jim Murphy was born September 23, 1939 - the first cesarean at Mercy Hospital - to Harold Joseph and Claire (Fahey) Murphy. He graduated from St. Patrick’s School then Cathedral High Class of ‘57. He attended St. Anselm’s one year and then enlisted in the Army. There, he was chosen for the Army Security Agency after which he was sent to Korea. He was honorably discharged and took advantage of the G.I. Bill and graduated from Westfield State College. After obtaining his Masters in Psychology, he settled down as a fourth grade teacher at Enfield St. School in CT. His students knew him as Mr. Read for the fifteen minutes of classics he read every day before dismissal. Having attended hockey games with his Dad, he signed up with the Olympics under Jeff Kravitz as Academic Advisor with his best friend, Bill Brezinski. After the Pics, he found Arlo Guthrie. His first date with his future wife at a folk coffeehouse had instilled a love of folk music. This revelation led to “needing a good state song.” He served as a Parent Advisor for the Children for a State Song, a family activity for two years that gave us “Massachusetts” as our state folk song. This success encouraged his efforts to program the Just Friends and Folk Show at STCC and the founding of the Chicopee Folk Music Society. The group held concerts at the Stained Glass Coffeehouse with nationally known performers. Unafraid of challenges, his next effort was to master the Argentine tango-he of two left feet and his wife with a broken foot. It happened-he did it. A steady diet of seven newspapers a day and being an avid Apple computer fan, Jim was selected to be a computer teacher in Enfield elementary schools. He loved taking them apart and helping the teachers render them working again. He was able to take apart an Apple computer and put it back together as easily as most people start their car. After he suffered a stroke in post-operative care for Da Vinci surgery to treat prostate cancer in 2007, he was no longer able to turn that same Apple computer on. It has been a rough nine years and God has given him peace. He leaves his wife, Charlene (Poliwczak) Murphy of fifty years, his daughter Mariclaire Smith, her husband, George Smith, two grandchildren, Warren Smith and Dalton Smith – all from Chicopee, two extended grandchildren, Christopher Smith and Justin Smith and one extended great grandson Chélan Smith – all from Bristol, CT. The family would like to express a deep and heartfelt thanks to Sharon Mekal, Heather Quinn, Marie Shea, Ava Chrabaszcz and Ken Squier for their part in care that allowed Charlene to honor Jim’s wish to remain in his home of 77 years after the stroke. A celebration of Jim’s life will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 10:00 am at the Corridan Funeral Home, 333 Springfield Street, Chicopee with the service to begin at 11:30 am in Christ’s Community Church, 103 Springfield Street, Chicopee. Burial will follow the service in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Fuller Road, Chicopee. Calling hours will be held on Friday, October 21, 2016 at the funeral home from 4 to 7 pm. The family requests NO FLOWERS and suggests CASUAL ATTIRE at all services be the Order of the Day. Memorial contributions may be dedicated in Jim’s name to the Elms Chapel, 291 Springfield St. Chicopee, MA, 01013.
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