July 10-11

Bill Murphy’s Vigil and Memorial

William T. Murphy passed 1:29pm on July 5th at home with his wife Kathy and his six children by his bedside: Barbara, Tim, Moira, Martha, Toby and Sheila. On Sunday, July 10th a vigil was held at St. Catherine's of Siena and on Monday, July 11th was the memorial mass and reception. Many family and friends came to celebrate the life and accomplishsments of Bill.

Gretchen Lott's eulogy:

I rejoiced when I heard them say let us go to the house of the Lord. Bill loved God, the church and the people of St. Catherine's. Bill loved God's poor and he loved his most loving and beloved family.  If Bill were here to present his eulogy, …. He would thank you all for coming to honor his life and celebrate his resurrected life with Christ.  Bill would say I love you and thank you Kathy for 53 years of love and marriage.  He would say thank you and   I love you to each of his children, Barbara, Tim, Moira, Martha, Toby, and Sheila, and thank you to their spouses for their love and the love and time they shared: Mike, Patty, Rob, Steve, Alan and Jim.   To his grandchildren Zachary, Haley, Olivia, Emily, Spencer, Cameron, Charley and Georgia he would say I love you and thank you for being in my life and filling it with great joy and mischief.   Bill would say to his surviving sisters Eileen and Betty; and his brother John we've had a good life, thank you.

Bill was my surrogate father here in San Mateo. I met Bill in 1989 through his daughter Moira and was included in family functions; weddings, baptisms, birthdays, and most Sunday meals enjoying a fun filled 22 years with Bill, Kathy and his family. Shortly after meeting him he invited me into the old boy network as we jointly nicknamed my early years of St. Vincent de Paul Society. Bill's way of embracing me and all of humanity was his gift and he shared himself generously in service as a charter member, along with Fred Furrer, of St. Catherine's St Vincent de Paul Society. He was an active President, and Treasurer in our conference for just short of 50 years in service as a Vincentian.  Along with his very active service and leadership at St. Catherine, he served 18 plus years on the District Council Board of Directors and 26 years on the Stores Committee (18 years as chairman).   Bill was in the thick and thin and made a major contribution to the growth of the Society in San Mateo County and its outstanding services provided to our neighbors in need, our brothers and sisters in the Family of God.  Bill was a true Vincentian brother of the highest distinction and beloved friend of the poor and all who knew him. Most recently while visiting the poor, one of Bill's regular clients asked me how Bill was doing and that they missed him. This reflects Bill's love of the poor and their love of him. Bill did all of this in a quiet and humble way.

Bill worked at Zellerbach for most of his career maintaining friendships over the years. Bill was also on St. Catherine's staff assisting the pastor and our church in doing anything and everything that was needed and always available even on short notice. Bill and Kathy's love for each other and their family was also shared through their involvement in the marriage preparation classes they led for couples preparing to marry here at St. Catherine's. Their lives have been living examples of the way of Christ. Kathy in full support and service, behind the scenes making sandwiches, cleaning out the holy water containers and in side by side service with Bill.

He and Kathy always welcomed all people in their home and are known for their generous, gracious and warm hospitality hosting  many of us here today for delicious food, friendship and lots of fun.

Fond memories of Bill include seeing him all around town and church in his bright blue truck, the color so popular that his neighbors painted their house to match. He loved Kathy's cooking and baking and especially loved her oatmeal cookies which we will enjoy today at the reception baked with love by Kathy, Sheila and Barbara, some burned by me. Bill often hoped Kathy would have a few cookies that did not come out quite right, which he called "crippled cookies".  You see he got to eat as many crippled cookies as available, usually followed by a kiss to Kathy's cheek his affectionate way of thanking her.

During the past 4 months Bill deteriorated rapidly and eventually needed more physical help. He was blessed in many ways including having son in law Rob, strong enough to lift him, when necessary and his other sons and son in laws Tim, Toby and Jim drive him to attend and confirm details of the frequent doctor's appointments necessary for his treatment. His daughters Barbara, Moira, Martha and Sheila were by his side to encourage and to just be with Bill .. Many of his children stayed over nights to be with Bill during his finals days. Bill would say to them "What would I do with out you?", and now,    "what will we do with out you Bill?"    We will go on and keep you alive in memory, in the garden, that the family shared and you enjoyed pruning, and in our prayers which following your lead was a significant grace to sustain you and the family especially now.

Bill's greatest joy besides being with family and friends was being with God. Bill was the first, for as many years as I know, to open the church, prepare the altar for Mass and then to sit in silent prayer before the early morning daily Mass. He was a lector, and he counted the money for the collections along with his good buddies Frank, Larry and Nancy. Bill loved time with God so much he became part of the Nocturnal Adoration Society with St. Matthews, praying unceasingly.

On the day Bill passed from this life into heaven, he was surrounded by his children and his beloved wife Kathy and upon reflection, I can't think of a better way to go from here to eternity but with the loving embrace of a loving family into the loving embrace of God. Heaven is rejoicing as we hear them say …Bill, welcome to the house of the Lord. 

  • 1932

  • 1950s

  • 1970

  • 1998

  • 2009

  • June 2011

  • Sunday after the vigil: Kathy and her sister Monica

  • Julie, mom, Janell and I visit after the vigil

  • The hall is ready for the reception after the memorial mass

  • Lilies on the stage of the hall

  • Monday for the mass. Rob and Moira place their dad for the service

  • Bill Murphy

  • Bill Murphy

  • St. Catherine's of Siena church in Burlingame

  • Paulette, JoAnn and Dawn

  • Flowers on the table

  • Toby, JoAnn, and Dawn

  • Mike, Patty and Rob

  • Jim, Mike, Patty, Rob and Alan

  • Cousins!

  • Tim, Sheila, Toby, Barbara, JoAnn, Martha and Paulette