Ken Murphy, 85, of Thief River Falls, MN died peacefully on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at Thief River Care Center in Thief River Falls, MN.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 AM on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls, MN with Father Rick Lambert presiding. Interment will follow at St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Thief River Falls with military honors will be provided by the Ecklund-Holmstrom American Legion Post #117 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2793.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM with a 6:00 PM prayer service on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the funeral mass on Thursday at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church.

Kenneth Douglas Murphy was born on July 13, 1932 in Boston, MA the son of Herbert C. and Helen (Coyman) Murphy. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Dorchester, MA. He attended Dorchester School For Boys where he graduated from high school in 1950.

In August of 1950, Ken entered into service with the United States Air Force. He was stationed for a short time in Minneapolis and Texas, but mainly served at the base in Wadena until he was Honorably Discharged in 1954.

On August 22, 1952, Ken was united in marriage to Wanda Mae Fischer in Wadena, MN. To this union two sons were born, Kim and Kevin. At the end of 1954, Ken began his career as a lineman in Elk River, MN with Bell Telephone. Ken’s work to the family to Staples, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Baudette and in 1964 they made the move to Thief River Falls where they have since resided.

Ken’s service to others became paramount in his life. He became extremely active in scouting, politics as service to his community and state, some of which included service to Thief River Falls School Board, Thief River Falls City Council, Pennington County Commissioner, Governor’s Board, State Water Commission Board, Chairman of the board at the Heritage Center, and was a supervisor and teacher for 55 Alive.

He was a 55 year member of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church where he volunteered as an usher, served on Parish Council and numerous other boards. Ken was a 60 year member of the American Legion Post #117, served 30 years with the Kiwanis Club and also was a member of the Moose Lodge in Baudette and Eagle’s Club in Thief River Falls.

Ken enjoyed spending time hunting at his cabin at Fourtown as well as other places around the country and fishing with his family and friends.   He was an incredible artisan doing carvings, oil, water color and cartoons. One of his paintings is hanging in the Smithsonian Institution.

Survivors include his loving wife of 65 years, Wanda of Thief River Falls; sons, Kim (Pam) Murphy of Thief River Falls and Kevin (Tonya) Murphy of Grand Forks, ND; grandchildren, Kristopher (Tami) Murphy of New Brighton, MN, Keegan (Laura) Murphy of Kindred, ND, Justine (Paul) Murphy-Krienke of Lakeville, MN, Keelan Murphy and Katherine Murphy both of Grand Forks, ND; great-grandchildren, Kieran, Nia, Keisha and Karson Murphy; brother, John Patrick Murphy of Boston, MA; and many other relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Herbert Jr., Marguerite “Maggy”, and two in infancy; and many nieces and nephews in Boston.


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