Obituary of Robert Michael Murphy
Robert “Bob” Michael Murphy, Sr, 80, of Ocala, Florida passed away surrounded by family and loved ones on October 18th, 2023. Bob is survived by his loving wife, Paula; his daughters, Michelle (husband Erm Joyce), and Anna (husband Brian Alvies); his son Robert Jr.; grandchildren, Katelyn Alvies & Courtland Alvies (wife Kimberly); great grandchild, Landon Alvies; and sister, Peggy (husband Ron Thielen).
Bob was born in Chicago and was raised by his grandparents, Anna & Maurice O’Connor on a farm near Irwin, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his parents; his mother, Marie O’Connor Murphy, Tony & Bette Murphy; his beloved grandparents, Maurice & Anna Berns O’Connor, Anthony & Margaret Murphy; his devoted aunts and uncles: Don & Mary Anne O’Connor, Benny & Myrtle Ninis, George & Ruby Hillary, Jim & Louise Borschnack, Frank & Mary Murphy, Pat & Rosemary Murphy.
Bob’s youth played a tremendous part in who he was to become. Growing up on the farm gave him a strong work ethic. A large multigenerational family working together on a common goal gave him a strong sense of purpose, belonging, and the bond of family. As a child, he served as an altar boy in the Catholic Church and continued his education through the church at St Patrick Central High School. It was the church that taught him to give to those that may be less fortunate.
In the early days of his marriage Bob moved his family to Florida to advance his career in finance and better provide for his family. Bob became an active member and leader in many organizations: Jaycees, Big Hat Club, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Ocala, Moose Lodge, Merchant Association, Kiwanis Club, Bowling Association, Bowling Hall of Fame and countless community projects. As his children advanced in school, he and his family volunteered their time whenever and wherever needed. He was a mentor to not only his children but so many children in need. He dedicated his life to helping anyone that could use a helping hand. As his good friend Timmy Ballas said, “Bob would literally give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.”
Throughout the years Bob was given numerous accolades for his service. He has been celebrated many times throughout his dedication. He was an integral part of all events at Vanguard High School even after his children had graduated. One of his many certificates of appreciation states…”Mr Murphy worked with the high school basketball, middle school sports programs on Saturday and during the week; worked as the concession stand chair person, directed advertising campaigns for basketball, and furnished transportation for students. He helped set up assistant training programs, used his camera for publicity, contributed pictures of activities at no cost for year book and advertising. Chaperoned and used many methods to build a better school. And because he knew and was such an integral part of his community, he was able to call upon resources that were invaluable to the success of our school programs. Robert Murphy was a ‘whirlwind’ of a volunteer. He knew the importance of education and spent approximately 25 hours a week as a volunteer at Vanguard High School. He was a strong supporter for student government, sports and every activity that makes a school an exciting place for students. The number of people that he has helped is infinite! His energy and resources seem endless. Vanguard High School is proud and beyond grateful for this ‘SUPER VOLUNTEER.’” Bob’s children credit their father with instilling volunteerism as a primary tenant in their life as they grow and continue to contribute to their communities.
Even after his children had graduated from Vanguard High School, he continued his dedication to the school and the young adults it served. Bob revived the Key Club at Vanguard as well as numerous other high schools in Marion County. This club was almost like another child for him. He loved instilling civic pride among these young leaders. He took tremendous pride in their fundraising efforts, civil service projects, and most of all their growth into young adults. It was his selfless dedication that made many young people look forward to serving others in the community.
Besides his volunteer activities, Bob enjoyed many hobbies such as American history, photography, coin and baseball card collecting. He was a bit of a jokester and no one was immune. He also enjoyed the competitiveness of softball, golf, any kind of card game, and especially bowling. He was active in the Bowling Association and was inducted into the American Bowling Congress Hall of Fame. Bowling took him to places all around the country and helped establish some of his best lifelong friends.
Bob was a huge Gator fan. He supported the University of Florida for over five decades. Bob enjoyed attending games and events of all kinds, and everyone knew him as he walked from tailgate to tailgate. He was no fair weather fan and he always had a “great” story.
Bob was a people person. He loved the interactions and relationships. He lived his life to serve others and he had fun doing it.
Bobby, Bob, Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Bob, Murf, Mr. Murphy; it's time to go home.
A memorial service for Bob will be held at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services (910 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, Fl 34470) on Sunday, October 29. Doors open at 1pm and the service will begin at 2pm. A reception will follow at the same site. Flowers may be sent to Hiers or please donate to one of Bob’s favorite organizations: the Boys and Girls Club of Ocala, Kiwanis Club, or Vanguard Knights Booster Club. Bob always thought that donating your time and your presence were more valuable than money. If you want to see a change in your community, donate your time and get involved. When you invest in our youth, you are investing in a better future. Online condolences may be sent to hiers-baxley.com.
A graveside service will be held in Bob’s hometown of Irwin, Illinois at a later date.
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