Robert Andrew Murphy Jr. (Bob) passed peacefully from this earth on January 10, 2021 at 87 years of age. He was a resident of Harlingen TX since 1961. He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on September 29, 1933.
Bob attended Rindge Technical High School in Cambridge MA and graduated president of his class. He was a very strong athlete in high school where he was the quarterback of his football team, played hockey, swam on the swim team, and was state ranked in running hurdles.
Music was Bob’s passion. He was blessed with natural talent of a rich baritone voice at a young age. Bob’s very first solo as a teenage boy was “Danny Boy”. He performed in fundraising musicals at Saint Patrick’s Church, Cambridge MA. Bob attended Boston College for two years and was then inducted into the U.S. Air Force and was sent to Harlingen TX to begin his Air Force career. He was quickly recognized for his amazing talent singing for church choirs and performing in community Rio Grande Valley events.
Robert met the love of his life, Lila Lynn Jones, one holiday week while she was home from the University of Texas-Austin visiting her family. Lynn and Bob were introduced by her piano teacher. They were married September 5,1956 in Harlingen and moved to Austin where he attended UT Pharmacy School.
Bob graduated with honors from the University of Texas School of Pharmacy in 1961, then returned to Harlingen where they raised their family and where he was co-owner of MacPherson’s Pharmacy for 31 years.
Bob and Lynn have been making beautiful music together for over 50 years. They were an amazing and talented duo sharing their gift of music singing and playing the piano for events including weddings, funerals, fundraisers, performing arts, concerts and bat mitzvahs. The Harlingen Performing Arts Theatre presented a fundraising musical production, “Murphy, Murphy, & Company,” which was a sold out performance for two productions raising an exceptional amount of money for the theatre.
Bob played the lead in local productions of Oklahoma, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Man of La Mancha and The Fantasticks. He also sang in Damn Yankees, The Music Man and in holiday performances of Handel’s Messiah.
Bob was a charter member of the South Texas Chorale which performed concerts in the Rio Grande Valley for 20 years. For his 40th Birthday, the mayor of Harlingen gave Bob the keys to the city and declared it “Bob Murphy Day” to honor him for his contribution to the Harlingen community through his music and professional career.
The prestigious Charles B. Feldman award was presented to Bob for his musical contribution to the community.
Bob was a member of the Harlingen Rotary Club, building chairman and later president of the Harlingen Performing Arts Theatre, Harlingen Arts and Heritage Museum honorary co-chairman of the “Taste of Harlingen” fundraiser, board member of the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, United Way and Life Begins at 40
Bob was a member of the Texas Pharmaceutical Association and was later recognized for more than 50 years of service by the Texas Board of Pharmacy. He was a football referee for the Harlingen school system, choir member and lay-reader for Saint Anthony’s church, an avid sailor and fly fisherman. He even built his very first fishing scooter!
Family was everything to Bob. He most enjoyed gathering with all his loved ones and spending quality time together making many wonderful memories traveling across the nation and camping out under the stars. Sailing was also a big activity with Bob sharing with all family and friends on his Catalina 34 sailboat. Many sleepovers and scary stories were told to his grandchildren that they still talk about today!
Bob is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, Lila Lynn; along with three children, Michael (Deanna) Murphy, Kathryn Murphy (Blake) Bonner, Robert Murphy III (Robert Wisotzkey); six grandchildren, Grayson (Miriam Foster) Murphy, Matthew (Katie) Murphy, John Michael (Olivia) Murphy, Blake (Caitlin) Bonner Jr., Courtney Bonner, William Bonner; 4 great grandchildren, Lila James Bonner, Scarlett Patricia Bonner, Tamsin Seiver Murphy, Ry McCoy Murphy; Sister, Doris (Michael) Mancini; and numerous nieces and nephews and relatives. Bob was preceded in death by his parents Robert Andrew Murphy and Doris Powers Murphy.
The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Hermelinda Garcia and Rosario Garcia for their kind and loving care.
A private family mass and subsequent burial was held on January 15th. A Memorial service will be scheduled at a later date to celebrate Bob’s life.
Memorials in Bob’s memory may be made to Harlingen Community Theatre 1209 Fair Park Blvd. Harlingen TX 78550; and American Cancer Society P.O. Box 2048 Harlingen, TX. 78552 or charity of choice.
You are invited to the sign the guestbook or leave a memory at www.buckashcraft.com.
Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral home is assisting the Murphy Family with arrangements
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