Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home was founded in 1903 and was located at 330 N. 2nd Ave. in downtown Phoenix. Originally called Easterling and Whitney Undertakers and Embalmers, the business also operated a livery stable as was common with old frontier undertakers. The Murphy family involvement began in 1912 when Mr. Tom Whitney hired a young widow, Mary Frances Murphy, who became the first female licensed funeral director in Arizona.
Her son William L. “Bill” Murphy began working at the firm in the early 1920’s when he too became a licensed funeral director. During the great depression when a quarter of the nation was unemployed, the funeral home was threatened by insolvency. However, the funeral home continued to provide service to all families regardless of their ability to pay thereby building a foundation of trust that has followed Whitney & Murphy all these years. Tom Whitney died in 1935 and was the only Whitney to ever be associated with the firm. Out of respect, Bill Murphy made a vow to keep the Whitney name associated with the firm for as long as he was around.
Upon graduation from the University of Notre Dame in 1957 and completing mortuary school, Ed Murphy came to work for his father Bill. They enjoyed a great relationship which allowed Bill to teach Ed all the important values of taking care of people. Bill Murphy died in 1965. It was said at his funeral, “we have lost a true Christian Gentleman.”
In 1969, Whitney & Murphy opened a second location at 48th Street and East Indian School Road to help better serve the ever-growing population of the Valley. Both funeral homes continued to operate until the original downtown location was closed in 1989. The original building at 330 North 2nd Avenue is now registered as one of Phoenix’s historic buildings.
Al Asta went to work for Ed Murphy in early 1982 after completing mortuary school. Ed and Al had a special relationship as Ed mentored and trained him in the core values of serving and caring for families. Continuing the Murphy tradition, Shawn Murphy joined the firm in 1987 and became the 4th generation Murphy to work at Whitney & Murphy. Ed Murphy passed away in 2014.
Today Al and Shawn are the co-owners of Whitney & Murphy. They are joined in the profession by their next generation’s; Amanda Murphy, Anthony Asta and Matt Asta.
Whitney & Murphy is known for its outstanding service, compassion, integrity, creativity and value. We will remain progressive and an innovative leader in funeral and cremation services. We set the standard for excellence in service quality by which other funeral homes will measure themselves. We will hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards and practices while guiding each family through the most meaningful death care experience possible.
Whitney & Murphy is a proud member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes, the National Funeral Directors Association, and the Arizona Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Association.