John Francis Murphy

April 29, 1952 to October 8, 2020

Obituary

With great sadness, we announce the sudden but peaceful passing of our brother, uncle, great-uncle, friend, and colleague John F. Murphy. “Unca’ John” as the kids knew him, or simply ‘Murph’ to many more, was predeceased by his father and mother Gerald (“Gerry”) and Susan Murphy (nee Hatfield of Tors Cove), special uncles “Harry” and “Billy” Murphy, as well as long-time friend Dave Chaisson. Aside of many friends and colleagues, he leaves to morn his sisters Barbara Hayward (Tony), Patricia Murphy, nephews Paul (Kelly), Mark (Kristy), Josh (Sascha), Neil (Robyn), and a slew of great-nieces and nephews: Lyla, Eamonn, Moira, Veronica, Ruth, Benjamin, Wesley, and Maci.

An avid athlete in his day, John was best known to many as a broadcaster and journalist with CBC Radio. He was passionate about his career and travelled the country working everywhere from the prairies to the far north, finally finding his way home, hosting the Fisheries Broadcast, and other programs. He was active with the St. John’s Players and local theatre as well as a long-standing member of Bally Haly Golf Club. He leaves us with a lot of great memories, heavy hearts, but also a reminder to take care of ourselves, each other, to keep telling stories, and to always get the facts straight.

We would like to extend special thanks to his caring physician, Dr. Alison Drover, the community health care team (with a special nod to Jennifer Carol) the staff and care team at Kenny’s Pond Retirement Community, as well as the many doctors, nurses and staff of the Health Science Centre and St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital.

Please join us in celebrating John’s life. Visitation will be held at Carnell’s Funeral Home on Freshwater Road on Friday, October 16, from 7 pm – 9 pm, Saturday, October 17, from 2 pm – 4 pm and 7 pm – 9 pm. Please note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we kindly ask that visitations be kept brief, respecting capacity limitations, and please ensure all required personal precautions, including social distancing and face covering, are observed.

NOTICE OF POSTPONED ARRANGEMENTS — Given the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic and after consultation with our department of public health, the previously announced Celebration of Life gathering for John F. Murphy, originally set for Sunday, October 18, 2:00-4:00pm, will be postponed. We apologize for this but, given the current national climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health and safety must remain our collective priority and we plan to reschedule when conditions for such a gathering are more appropriate.

Schedule

Visitations

7-9 p.m. on October 16, 2020

2-4 p.m. on October 17, 2020

7-9 p.m. on October 17, 2020

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
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John, you left a big footprint in many parts of Canada, including the North, when you were reporting here at CFYK (Yellowknife) for a few years in the mid- to late 70s. Along with ink-stained wretches from the print media, and other CBC-ers, we started Press Club North, in the classic off-the-record fashion, and welcomed almost everyone of the NWT Legislature MLAs to our first “meeting” … the cheapest drinks in town.

I also rode shotgun with you on some vintage fire trucks when we shared volunteering on the local fire department. We loved that!

I was glad to see you five years ago, John, albeit in a hospital room in Newfoundland, and for the many conversations and emails we shared after that. I truly regret that we weren’t able to team up for that cross-canada drive in your old beater and revisit some of the haunts up here.
I’ll miss you and treasure the time we shared.

Bill Braden
Yellowknife

Rest In Peace John

To all of John’s Family, so very sorry to hear of John’s passing. Had the pleasure of first meeting John in Gander back in the late 80’s early 90’s during a Golf Tournament and became acquaintances since. Had many a laugh, sobering moments and great conversations as recent as a year ago. Please accept my sincerest condolences and know that i will cherish our memories as I hope you all do as well of my time knowing this fine Gentle Giant!!!!!!!!!!!!

John and I were part of the team that launched CBC Radio’s program, The House, in Ottawa in 1977.
He was a terrific reporter, who picked up great true stories about RCMP dirty tricks at a bar I recall. Later there was a public inquiry. But John had the story first. I understand why the lure of Newfoundland brought him home where he continued his career, including hosting the Fisheries broadcast. I offer my condolences from Toronto as I sadly think of that time when we both were young.
Susan Helwig

Barbara and family,
I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Sorry to hear about John’s passing. He was a long time friend to both of us. RIP John

So sorry to hear of John’s passing. I met him many years ago with the Provincial Drama Festivals. Such a big personality with so many stories to tell. Rest In Peace John!

I am saddened at John’s passing. We talked many times when he worked evenings in CBC St. John’s radio newsroom while I was on the same shift at the CBC newsroom in Corner Brook. “And what’s happening in the best west?” My spouse Dean and I also had the pleasure of John’s company in our home when he arrived in town to play in a tournament at the Blomidon Golf and Country Club. John was a bon vivant, a great story teller, a walking encyclopedia and a real gentleman. He will be sorely missed and long remember. RIP John.

Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your loved one, John. May he Rest In Peace.

Rest In Peace my friend. We seemed to bump into each other over the years starting with our student activist days at Memorial University and then onto Ottawa, Regina and points in between returning again to the beginning when we both came back to the terra firma of the Rock. I will miss our many chats and messages, your dogged realism but firm determination to live a full life, and of course your tweets. Take care. Be critical. Do not accept the status quo, wherever you may go.
-30-

I first met John when I travelled from Labrador for regional CBC Radio News meetings. His mastery of “the craft” was always there and it showed in what he delivered to the audience. My condolences to all members of his family.

I have many memories of John when I was a member of the House of Assembly and He was a House Reporter. Lots of laughs and always treated fairly. RIP old friend. And sincerest sympathy to the family. Roger Fitzgerald

Barb & family, please accept my sincere condolences. .John was a great storyteller, and of course there was usually a chuckle or a big belly laugh along the way. He was a kind and caring man who complemented Bally Haly with his larger than life character. So sorry for your loss. Sharon

Chats that solved all the problems. Figuring out the gossip behind the gossip. The occasional adult beverage. And laughs, lots of laughs.

I’m going to miss you Murph. Godspeed.

Barb and family. So sorry to hear that your brother passed away. Our condolences to all.

I first met Murf way back in the early 1970s when he moved to Toronto briefly to work in the national radio newsroom, where I was stationed. We became good friends and always kept in touch as he moved about the country — to the NWT, Regina, Ottawa and other places. One winter in the mid-80s I spent a month in Regina filling in while they chose a new senior editor for the radio shop and Murf and his resident lady made me feel very welcome, hosting me at his pad. We got together for a meal and drinks whenever he came through TO and after he moved back to The Rock and then. retired, we kept in touch electronically. I recall one incident early on. His then girl-friend — a flight attendant with Air Canada — had come into town with a huge salmon. Murf asked around the newsroom who could be trusted to prepare it as the centrepiece for a summer gathering and my name came up. So on the appointed Sunday a bunch of us gathered in my backyard and the fish was duly put on the hibachi with appropriate seasonings and trimmings. The problem was — poor John could not find anyone to swap his shift, so we had to make sure to save him a prized piece until he finished work and made it to the barbecue. Bless ye, me bye … rest in peace.

“I was dead last week” What? “I stopped breathing. I was dead until they started working on me”. So began the last telephone conversation I had with John, a remarkable guy, whip smart, complex and loyal and caring. His last few years had been devoted to staying alive in the face of pain and suffering. Knowing he was house bound, I would ask how he was getting the necessities. He would answer that his nephew, Paul, was doing what had to be done for him. That was a relief. John seemed to remember everything, and as has been said, he was a very talented story teller. “Now, just listen to THIS one….”
A true Newfoundlander.

So sorry to learn of John’s passing. He was such an optimistic, friendly and giving personality. He will be sadly missed at the CBC fall golf tournaments. He and Ted Withers are now sharing stories up above for sure. He will indeed be missed. Sincere sympathies to his family.

John and I bonded when I first moved to St. John’s though we knew each other Before mother. He wa always first to lend a hand , at work or else wise. He gave me his house when I had to spend time with my mother who was in hospital min St. John’s. And he would often visit Labrador when the provincial drama festival was in Labrador wet. He would arrive with suitcase and a case of wine out of gratitude. I didn’t get to see him much over the week as he was always in demand for helping with the acting community or attending the social events. He bought many a smile to us. Rest In Peace and thank you for every thing . Mik e

Rest In Peace John

I was so shocked and saddened to hear the news of John’s passing! I remember him as a good friend, a good golfer and a supportive colleague,
Rest In Peace John.

Jacinta Wall

I was only talking of John no more than a week and a half ago. I have many memories of him as a regular at Celebrities back in the early 90’s. My condolences to his family and friends

Myself and Marg extend the most sincere condolences to ‘Murph’s’ family. John was a great friend, a better golfer than me, and a much better reporter than I was. He taught me a lot about all three. Rest in Peace buddy, and I’ll lift a glass of the Captain to you at the 19th hole..
You will be missed.

Murf was my friend for over fifty years. He will be dearly missed.
My sincere condolences to the family.

So sorry to hear the news about John. He was a great worker, a respected journalist and always fun to b e around. RIP John.

I remember John as a good reporter,,travelling the busses during election campaigns and giving the details to listeners fairly and objectively..Thereby he made his contribution to our democracy during interesting times.. May John rest in peace.Dennis Browne

Barb and family, my condolences to you on John’s passing.. It’s so sad to lose a sibling.. I knew John in high school. Yvonne Roach

Condolences go to the family of John Murphy, May he Rest In Peace.

So sorry for your loss.
You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Helen & Pat Hayward

This is such sad news. John was a larger than life character with a big heart and a big laugh. I worked with him only briefly in NL but always respected his work and stories as part of the CBC Radio News family. Rest In Peace Murph.

Murphy family and friends

Please accept my sincere sympathy on John’s passing. I have know John for over fifty years and even though we did not see each other that often he was still a close friend and I will definitely miss him

Patricia, (Trish), Barb, and families. I am very sorry to read of John’s passing. I believe he had just moved back on Hayward Avenue before we closed our store (Squires’) but I didn’t get an opportunity to chat with him then, which was a pity.! Deepest condolences to you all.

I git to know John as a journalistic colleague, when he was posted to Regina CBC. John became a golf buddy and we stayed in touch over the years. I’ll never forget the fun dinner we had on George St in St. John’s just after he retired. He was a fine journalist and wonderful guy. My sympathies to all his family..

Murph’s Family and Friends,

Murph was a great friend of my late sister, Barbara Power when they both lived in Ottawa. He gave a beautiful tribute ( as only he could) at her internment many years ago.
Condolences on his passing. I’ll raise a glass to his memory.

Joan Peddle

He was one of the good ones! Shot from the hip, and always good for a laugh. I enjoyed our times together and we were well into our careers before I realized we grew up on the same street. Condolences to all his friends and family.

Very sorry to hear this news. A big presence in many ways; enjoyed his company, particularly at Provincial Drama Festivals. I had a grand chat with him not long after Christmas, so was aware of his situation, but wasn’t expecting his role to finish this early. To “Nephew Paul” as he referred to you., please call me on your next trip this way. Our deepest condolences – Pam & Harry

BARB AND FAMILY
SO sorry to hear of your brother passing away
Thinking of you at this sad time. Always in your heart Skip and Joyce

A valued colleague and friend, my wife and I would never miss one of his reports from the House of Assembly which he imbued with a touch of humor and a great deal of insight while adhering to the reporters creed of accuracy above all. A loss for the Newfoundland media and his host of friends. Godspeed John.

John was an imposing presence in the St. John’s CBC radio newsroom when I worked there in the late eighties to mid-nineties. He was indeed a stickler for correct language: I always remember one of his pet peeves was reporters using “protesting” instead of “protesting against” . He was a font of knowledge, which he was always willing to share, and had a way of usually getting what he wanted from political interviews – no easy task. But there was a soft side to John too: he was a kind and loyal friend. Rest In Peace John.

so sorry to hear of John’s passing,I hung around with John when he was in Ottawa with cbc, we had a good many swalleys at Molly’s but unfortunately lost contact after we both moved home.rip

God Speed, John. Thanks for the great memories, laughs and kinship. It is difficult to comprehend when people my own age are passing over. I’ll see you on the other side.

I first met Murph at the then MUNRadio studios in September 1970. At that time we both had an interest in radio, he in news and announcing,, I in the technical aspects of broadcasting with a little announcing on the side. He stayed with journalism, I moved on to the technical side of the entertainment industry. We lost touch for a while as he pursued his career nationally but reconnected in the late 1980’s when he returned to St. Johns. He developed an interest in sound for live theatre and we worked on several projects together. I moved to Labrador City to pursue my career and he ended up having several short postings there. We continued our friendship over the years and got together frequently. He even facilitated my wedding to my wife Marilyn, whom he knew even before I met him.
Rest well my friend, you are missed.

My condolences to John’s family. I knew John from his Ottawa and St. John’s days. He was a fine dancer (trained in ballroom dancing if memory serves me correctly) and we always had a swing around the room when the opportunity arose. Rest easy, Murph.

My deepest sympathies and best regards to the Murphy family.
There are big people who tend to dwarf those they meet. There are others who seem to assume that everyone else is a fellow giant and treat them accordingly.
John was one of the latter and his injections of bigness to work, play and life generally will be sorely missed.

Rest easy old friend. Raise one for me on the other side. Godspeed.

so sorry for your loss, I knew John from our grammar school days playing basketball. Great guy ,he will be missed

His presence was felt the minute he walked into a room . John was a man full of journalistic
passion who said it how it was and with facts. He was a warm hearted human being…….I always had so many laughs and chats with John over the many years especially in the 80’s/90’s. My sincere condolences to his family. May his memory bring you all peace. Best Regards

Where have all the years gone?
John was one of the first people I shared a beer with when I arrived in St.John’s in 1987. A big bear of a man, who gave me lots of solid advice.
I respected John’s talents as a journalist and a broadcaster and I envied his skill on a golf course.
I’m sorry to learn that he has left us.
My sincere best wishes to his family.

Sharon and I have fond memories of John at Bally Haly.. sincerest condolences to the family. RIP John

I’m so sorry to hear of John’s passing. He was a fine man. As a reporter, he didn’t back down from anybody or any assignment When a few of us at CBC took up golf years ago, Murph would invite us in to play for free at Bally Haly at a time when many paid just to be on the waiting list for club membership. My sincere condolences to his family.

Worked with John many years ago – fun and smart, and a great reporter. So sad to hear of his passing. Sending my thoughts to the family –

It has been over 40 years but I have fond memories
John taught me to drive a car. My deepest sympathies.

Paul & family, I am very sad to hear of John’s passing. Even though I only knew him for 6 years he inspired me with his wit & amazing story-telling ability. Please accept my deepest sympathies.

I’m so sad to hear of Murph’s death. I worked with him at CBC and much admired his reporting skill and great on-air presence. He will be missed.

To John’s family, my sincere love to you. We first met in high school at Bishop’s college and shared our passion for basketball. In 1986 he introduced me to Philip Daniel who became my husband of 30 years. John was the best man at our wedding. I will remember him on so many levels

Well played.