Peter's Story

LINCOLNVILLE - Peter Francis Murphy - husband, father, brother, uncle, friend - died tranquilly at the Sussman House in Rockport on Friday, January 29, 2016, surrounded by, his wife, son and pet cat, Caroline.

Peter was born July 26, 1948 in Orange, NJ and lived in South Orange with his parents and three siblings. After running away from Catholic School at age 5, Pete went on to attend schools within the So. Orange/Maplewood District, and the Ultimate Frisbee-famous Columbia High School. He completed his formal education at Seton Hall University, earning a B.A. degree in Communications.

Pete had a lifelong passion for tinkering with mechanical and electronic gadgets. Recognizing this unique aptitude, his family dubbed him "The Atomic Man" from an early age. He was a handyman who could fix anything ranging from delicate tube radios and computer motherboards to large machinery. His employment was varied and rich - centered in eclectic interests and a desire to help others. From co-owning a sawmill in NJ, to NYC theater techie, to rehabilitation engineer, to radio technician, Pete had a knack for creating and engineering solutions. He was an amateur ham radio operator with the call sign: W1CPU. His love of radios continued into a side business, Radio Daze, which provided antique tube radio repair services.

A musician, Pete played pedal steel guitar with The Hot Damn Brothers, a New Jersey band. It was while playing with this band that he met his future wife, Kim, and together they spent many happy hours sharing 2AM cups of coffee in NJ diners. He continued his involvement with music, playing for children with cancer at Camp Happy Times and for children with cerebral palsy at The Matheny School. A history buff, Pete loved classical music almost more than rock 'n' roll, naming any Mozart or Beethoven selection at the drop of a needle. Pete also spent many happy hours reading countless books in a variety of genres, with David McCullough being his favorite author.

Pete was fond of the East Coast. He lived in New Jersey and Key West, FL and spent many family vacations on Long Beach Island, NJ. After settling in Maine in 1988, he spent summers at "the island" - a favorite family spot. He won the hearts of Kim's family with his never-ending desire to chop wood!

A quiet and private man, Pete was intensely committed to his family and close friends. He will be remembered for his quirky sense of humor, hearty laugh and gentle spirit.

Peter was predeceased by his parents, Paul Edward Murphy and Catherine Conklin Murphy. He is survived by his wife, Kimberly J. Murphy and son, Nicholas P. Murphy of Lincolnville, ME; brother, Paul Murphy of Santa Barbara, CA; brother, George Murphy of Sanford, FL; sister, Marcia Murphy Kopp of West Orange, NJ; an extended family of brothers and sisters-in-law from NJ, PA, MA and ME; many nieces and nephews; and good friends - Gary Seavey, Mark Kelley, and Rick Hiller.

Calling hours will be held from 12 noon to 3 P.M., Saturday, February 6, 2016 at Nativity Lutheran Church, 179 Old County Rd., Rockport. A private family service will be held at the island this summer.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in honor of Peter's memory may be sent to The Sussman House, c/o Pen Bay Healthcare, 6 Glen Cove Drive, Rockport, ME 04856 or to Kno-Wal-Lin Hospice, c/o Pen Bay Healthcare, 6 White Street, Rockland, ME 04841.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at Funeral arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain Street, Camden.

"Wilbur sat silent for a moment. Then, slowly leaving his pilot's seat, he walked around the machine just to make sure, with his own eyes, that this particular adjustment had, without the slightest shadow of a doubt, been well and truly made.' Back again in his seat, Wilbur released the trigger, the weight dropped, and down the rail and into the air he swept. Cheers went up as he sailed away toward a row of tall poplars..."

(The Wright Brothers by David McCullough)
Published in Bangor Daily News
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