John Austin Murphy

December 30, 1944 ~ September 1, 2023 (age 78) 78 Years Old


John Austin Murphy was born December of 1944, in Minneapolis, Minnesota to James Vincent and Virginia Marie (Murray) Murphy. He recently celebrated 54 years of marriage to the love of his life, Elizabeth (Mitchell). John is preceded in death by siblings Virginia E, Rita, Sarah, Thomas, and Daniel. He was a proud father of Teresa Sodon and husband Mike, Maura McKinney and husband Lonny, Kathleen Sanders, William and wife Lindsay Claire, Daniel and wife Lindsay Lee, and Mark. John was blessed with 15 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren. John was a Vietnam era Veteran, serving honorably for 6 years, where he learned his lifelong vocation as a medical maintenance engineer. He was employed by the Army at Madigan, later known as Madigan Army Medical Center. John loved his work and enjoyed meaningful relationships with his colleagues. John spread his kindness to all by offering dignity and compassion to whomever he met, no matter their station in life. He humbly received awards for his money saving ideas and innovative systems to provide better service to the hospital. John retired as a leader, in a supervisory position, with more than 30 years of government service. MultiCare Mary Bridge became a second career for John, where he continued to serve our community as a medical maintenance engineer for more than a decade. Mary Bridge was near and dear to his heart and served John just as well as he served them. After retirement, John kept himself busy while fixing grandkids’ electronics and toys or refurbishing family appliances. He was nicknamed “MacGyver” and always had a solution for any problem or a word of wisdom in a teachable moment. John was able to add on to his family home, making more room for his ever growing brood. He enjoyed finding a good deal or bargain and relished a trip to his friendly neighborhood Grocery Outlet. His jokes were plentiful and his humor hit the spot, making him the one thought of when needing to remember a good “dad” joke. Needing more of an opportunity to be out in the community after retirement, John put his mechanical mind to good use by becoming a volunteer, substitute teacher, and board member with Bates Vocational Technical College, Tacoma. While serving there, he enjoyed countless opportunities to pass along his skill and knowledge to a younger generation. A faithful Catholic his entire life, John led a life of service for his family, friends, and community. He enjoyed many adventures with his sons and the Boy Scouts. He was an active member of Holy Name Society and regularly served meals at the Nativity House for the homeless. John was a member of the Lion’s Club and became the American Legion Commander of Post 138. He was a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council #16667. John was a faithful donor of platelets to the local blood bank, as he knew his donation would help cancer patients. Alongside his family, John recently built his dream cabin on the beach in Sekiu, Washington. A lifelong goal obtained right on time! John wanted to make sure his family always has a place to go where they will be together, to laugh, love, eat great food, and make lasting memories. The cabin is larger than life, accommodating and strong, but humble just like the man John was. John’s love will live on forever more inside the walls of his cabin, as his family lovingly lives out his legacy of kindness, service, and gratitude.
Surrounded by family, with love and faith, John passed away September 1st, 2023. Services will be held Friday, September 8th at Holy Cross. Rosary led by Dennis Vercillo will begin at 10:15, Mass celebrated by Reverend Ronald Knudsen, will follow at 11:00. The altar server will be Steve Mullan, readings will be shared by Jim Lockemy and music will be by Bob McKamey. John’s grandsons, Aidan and Kellan McKinney, Parker and Brody Sodon, along with his son in laws, Lonny McKinney and Mike Sodon will serve as pallbearers. John will be laid to rest at Tahoma National Cemetary at a later date.


Mail check to:
Knights of Columbus Council 16667
Holy Cross Catholic Church
5510 North 44th Street in Tacoma, WA 98407
Marybridge Child Life Services

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Funeral Service
September 8, 2023

11:00 AM
Holy Cross Church (Tacoma, WA)


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