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MURPHY, Captain Walter Patrick

May 29, 2013 5:36 AM


Captain Walter Patrick Murphy died on May 24, 2013 at Vista del Monte in Santa Barbara CA. Commonly called "Pat", he was born in Brooklyn, NY on October 25, 1919 to Walter and Ellen Murphy. He was a 1941 graduate of the US Naval Academy and was a career Naval Officer, serving for 30 years. During this time he was in submarines and completed many patrols to the Pacific during World War II and was awarded two Silver Stars for his service. He subsequently commanded two submarines and a fleet replenishment oiler. He received a Master's Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Cal Tech and was associated with the Polaris Missile program.

He retired in August 1966 and went to work for NASA as Chief of Staff to the Director of Kennedy Space Center during the entire Apollo moon landing program. In 1977 he was posted to Paris where he served as the NASA European Representative for five years. There followed five years as Head of the NASA Office at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA before retiring a second time in July 1983. During each of his three assignments he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

Upon retiring he settled in Santa Barbara and volunteered with the Red Cross and Catholic Charities and was a Eucharistic Minister for the Mission Santa Barbara. He enjoyed playing golf and an occasional game of poker with his pals and always had a good Irish joke to share with his friends. Having grown up in Brooklyn, NY he remained an avid Dodger fan for his whole life. He moved to Vista del Monte in 2007.

His wife of 58 years, Ruth GŁenter Murphy predeceased him in 1999 as well as his daughter Susan Orr and his son Michael Edwin Murphy. He is survived by his son Captain Patrick Murphy USN (Ret) and wife Virginia of Port Republic, MD and daughter in law Lin Murphy of Yarmouth, ME. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Patrick Sean Murphy, Kevin James Murphy, Matthew Ryan Murphy and wife Britt, Steven Orr, Karin Orr Sims, Sally Shannon Orr, Kendellyn Murphy Cavanaugh Gagne and husband Chris and six great grandchildren.

A Memorial Mass will be held at San Roque Catholic Church on Wednesday, May 29th at 10:00am followed by a reception at Vista del Monte. Later an inurnment will be held at the United States Naval Academy columbarium in Annapolis MD where he will join his wife. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Cancer Society or the Poor Clare Nuns of Santa Barbara.

Arrangements entrusted to McDermott-Crockett Mortuary.


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