Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lorenzo Dow ‘Pat’ Murphy Jr.

Lorenzo Dow "Pat" Murphy Jr., 82, loving husband, father, grandfather and uncle, died peacefully on Oct. 1, 2011, in a Boise, Idaho, hospital with his family at his side.

Pat lived an amazingly full and adventurous life. As a journalist for more than 60 years, he traveled the world interviewing presidents and kings, movie stars and politicians, yet was equally interested in the friends and neighbors whom he met while walking his dogs along the mountain trails. He was insatiably curious and a constant learner and teacher. One of his great joys was mentoring young writers, taking pride in their accomplishments and nurturing them for their future in journalism.

Born July 28, 1929, in Coral Gables, Fla., to Lorenzo and Kathryn Murphy, Pat graduated from Gordon Military College in Barnesville, Ga., and attended the University of Miami (Fla.) before joining the Army as a combat correspondent in the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1951 as sergeant 1st class, and was awarded the Bronze Star, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation and Korean Service Medal with four battle stars and the United Nations Medal.

In 1953, Pat married Elizabeth "Betty" Gibson of Toronto, Canada, and they had two daughters, Kathryn Elizabeth and Patti Lyn.

He started his long and distinguished journalism career in 1952 at The Miami Herald where he worked for 20 years as a reporter, photo editor and assistant city editor, then editor and publisher of Herald-owned suburban newspapers, the Coral Gables Times and The Guide. He moved his family to Phoenix, Ariz., in 1972 and went to work as editorial page editor of The Arizona Republic. In 1986, he was named publisher of the Republic and its sister publication, The Phoenix Gazette. Pat left the newspaper in 1989 to host a Phoenix radio talk show, and during the 1990-91 Gulf War, he reported from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for Phoenix radio and television stations.

In 1997, Pat and Betty moved permanently to Ketchum, where he continued as a columnist and reporter for the Idaho Mountain Express, and freelance writer for numerous regional and national publications. Pat loved the Wood River Valley and referred to it as "paradise."

Pat lived his life boldly and with passion. He fought for human rights, fairness, truth and compassion for those less fortunate. His greatest loves were his family, his community and his two yellow labs, Spud and Tater, whom he loved to take hiking along Trail Creek and the Big Wood River in Ketchum.

He had a passion for flying and earned his private pilot's license when he was 14, and then later his commercial pilot's license.

Pat is survived by his wife, Betty; daughters Patti Murphy (Nancy) of Boise and Kathy Carson (Paul) of Ketchum; grandson, Cassidy Carson of Ketchum; and niece and nephew Lori and Jim Murphy of Houston. He was preceded in death by his father, Lorenzo Dow Murphy Sr., mother, Kathryn Sharpe Murphy, and brother, James (Jack) Murphy.

A graveside service with military honors is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Ketchum Cemetery, followed by a reception from noon to 2 p.m. at Trail Creek Cabin in Sun Valley.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley.

The family would like to thank our friends in the community for their love and support.

To share memories or condolences, visit Lorenzo Murphy's memorial page at

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