David Murphy


Memorial contributions my be made to Licking High School Booster Club

Obituary of David Murphy

David F. Murphy, age 87, peacefully passed into glory at his daughter’s home in Fenton, MO June 21 2017.

Visitation will be 6-8 pm July 14, and the memorial service will be at 10 am July 15, both at Fox Funeral Home in Licking.  A short graveside service will be held at Shafer Cemetery.  Pastor Rick Mosher will officiate.

                David was born August 20, 1929 in Hartshorn, OK to William Harvey and Willie Mae (Coulston) Murphy.  He was the 4th of 10 children.  His boyhood was spent in True, Texas.  At age 12, his family moved to California, and Dave attended Delano High School, excelling in track, football and academics.

                He enlisted in the Navy in 1948, serving through the Korean War aboard the destroyer USS Repurtis.  Two weeks after his discharge he began working at the Los Angeles Chrysler plant making parts for Nike missiles.

                On June 19, 1953 David married his little sister’s best friend, Bernice Elinor Engstrum.  The couple recently celebrated their 64th Anniversary!  The young couple resided in LaHabra, CA for 19 years.  Dave, Bernice and their daughter, Denise moved to MO in 1971 and lived in High Ridge, MO 11 years.

                When David retired from the Fenton Chrysler plant in 1982, he and Bernice moved to Licking and made it their home for the next 35 years.  He raised iris, blueberries, beagles, chickens, cows, cane, (sorghum and the other kind!)  He liked a challenge and was never afraid to try new things like making sorghum molasses, apple butter, lard, hominy, honey and learning to call square dances. David cared about people and the community.  He coached boys and girls a total of 50 years in MO and CA. He was an active member in the Democratic Club, the VFW, Texas County Genealogical Society and especially the Licking High School Boosters. He also helped research and mark the Trail of Tears through Texas County. 

                Celebrating his life are his wife Bernice Murphy, daughter Denise Lutes and her husband Donald, grandchildren Emily Lutes and Gabriel Lutes and his wife Courtney, 2 sisters: Betty Macho and Pearl Moll and a brother, Ed Murphy and many relatives and friends.

                David Murphy made a positive impact on so many lives.  He will be remembered as a man of integrity, intelligence, compassion and a great sense of humor.

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