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Posted By Whitney & Murphy On December 4, 2020 @ 9:35 am In Obituary | 11 Comments

Gerald Murphy

PHOENIX – MURPHY, Gerald “Gerry” William, husband of Margaret Cogan Murphy, passed away on December 2, 2020. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on February 28, 1936, the son of the late Ellen Kenney and William E. Murphy. A 1957 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, he served as a naval officer in the Western Pacific and Brooklyn Navy Yard. After the Navy, Gerry worked for sixteen years at the Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, first as a bond representative in the Hartford, Connecticut office, then as bond manager in Tulsa, Oklahoma and St. Louis, Missouri, rising to Surety Secretary in the Aetna home office. In 1977, Gerry joined R.B. Jones-Alexander & Alexander, a Kansas City, Missouri surety and insurance agency, as senior vice-president managing its Midwest construction group and as an expert for its operations in New York, Houston, Des Moines, and St. Louis.

Gerry always said he made the best decision of his business life when he moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1979 to lead the western expansion of McCarthy Building Companies, opening offices in Phoenix, Newport Beach, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. For sixteen years he was president of the Southwest division, supervising operations in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico and overseeing its interests in Utah and the Republic of Mexico.

In 2001 Gerry became President Emeritus of McCarthy and was honored as Construction Executive of the Year by Construction Financial Management Association. Upon retirement, he formed Murphy Consulting LLC, continuing his love for the construction industry as an arbitrator, mediator, and expert witness. In 2003 Gerry acted as consultant for Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority to monitor costs and quality control in the construction of what is now State Farm Stadium for the Arizona Cardinals. Gerry loved being a builder. Among hundreds of projects, his favorites were the Phoenician Resort built by McCarthy, the football stadium where he oversaw how tax dollars were being spent, and, as chair of the volunteer building committee, construction of a new St. Francis Xavier School and parish center.
Gerry had a lifelong respect for the ability of the arts to nourish a more civilized society. Locally he chaired The Phoenix Symphony, Herberger Theater Center, Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Commission on the Arts, and Arizonans for Cultural Development. He also served as chair of Florence Crittenton Services of Arizona and the National Surety Committee of Associated General Contractors.

Gerry is survived by his wife Peggy, daughter Carolyn, son Rich and his wife Lara, granddaughters Katherine Bobo, Jennifer Bobo and Bryn Murphy, sister Mary M. Facey, sister-in-law Dorothy Murphy, many nieces, and nephews. His brothers Eugene and Thomas predeceased him.

A rosary will be said at 4:30 p.m. followed by a viewing from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School, Phoenix, AZ 85018 on Wednesday, December 9, 2020. There will be a Mass of the Resurrection at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 10, 2020 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 4715 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012. Both events will be available via livestream.

It is Gerry’s wish that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to St. Francis Xavier Parish for the restoration of the iconic church and dome, or Hospice of the Valley. Burial will be privately held. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.

Condolences for the family of “MURPHY, GERALD WILLIAM”

Condolence from tom chapman on December 5th, 2020 11:00 pm

Will always remember that wonderful smile and be grateful for his terrific support for the Arts and Culture in our Phoenix community ! Deepest condolences to Peggy and the Murphy family! Happy Trails Gerry!

Condolence from Frank E Bourget on December 6th, 2020 2:27 pm

I’m sad to learn Gerry has moved on to a better place. He was a great man I knew when I had worked for the Phoenix Symphony as the organization’s development director. As far as all the nonprofit Board Chairs I worked with, he was the best, always caring and supportive of the staff, donors and patrons. He was a true leader, one I will never forget. Sorry Peggy for you and your family’s loss.

Condolence from Tom Gervais on December 7th, 2020 6:33 pm

Peggy, Rich, and Carolyn,

So sorry to hear about Gerry’s passing. He was a kind-hearted man, and I was blessed to have known him.

I am especially grateful to Gerry for his tutelage with the family genealogy. When I first heard about the family tree, I was told that it was in someone’s notebook. I believe that it was Gerry who got it organized and entered into a software application. Gerry and I then worked together to put the combined Murphy, Cogan, Gervais family trees up on Ancestry. It was a wonderful project, and I am grateful for Gerry’s help.

My prayers are with all of you in this difficult time.


Condolence from Brenda Sperduti on December 8th, 2020 3:37 pm

My husband and I had the absolute pleasure of working and dining on occasion with Gerry over many years. His commitment to the Phoenix community was exemplary. We worked together on Phoenix Symphony projects, and again on the board of directors for Florence Crittenton. He was a tireless advocate and friend of the arts in Arizona. Tom and I send our deepest condolences to darling Peggy and the entire Murphy family. Rest, dear friend!

Condolence from Myrna and Richard Brooks on December 9th, 2020 7:02 am

When we lived in Phoenix, we got to know Peggy& Gerry Murphy shortly after they moved there. They became very close friends of ours. Dick had a special relationship with Gerry on the tennis courts of the Phoenix Country Club where we played doubles at least twice a week. Gerry had a special exuberant personality. He was fun to be with whether he was winning or losing on the tennis court. Gerry displayed a keen interest in you and had a way of making you feel joyful when meeting with him. We spent many times with the Peggy and Gerry celebrating New Years Eve together and it was always a delight to be with them. It was quite clear to us that Gerry had a special interest in the Phoenix Community as displayed by his involvement in the various building projects with his business and his display of leadership of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra.
We want Peggy and the Murphy Family to know that Gerry was a special person in our lives while we lived in Phoenix. He will always be remembered and honored as we live out our lives. We wish Peggy and her family the very best in the years ahead.

Myna and Dick Brooks
463 Taft Family Rd.
Quechee, Vermont 05059

Condolence from William C Goodyear Jr. (Bill) on December 9th, 2020 4:00 pm

I am so sorry to hear of Gerry’s passing, My prayers go out to Margaret and the Family, God Bless all of you during this Holiday Season.

Bill Goodyear

Condolence from Marie and George Menut on December 10th, 2020 12:08 pm

To my dear sister, Peggy, her children, Carolyn and Richard, and his wife Lara, and granddaughters, Katherine, Jennifer, and Bryn, we offer our love and feelings of sorrow on the loss of your husband, father, and grandfather. Gerry was a wonderful, kind, loving, and generous man. We are grateful that he was able to spend his last days at home with you so he could say goodbye before he made his transition. We have included you all in our prayers for loving comfort. We offer Peace, Love, and Joy as Gerry would want for each of you.

Condolence from Steve Pavich on December 11th, 2020 7:30 am

I am deeply sorry to hear about Gerry’s passing. We worked very closely together on the St. Francis Xavier rebuilding project when I was the parish manager. Gerry was so generous with his time and expertise. He was #1 in my book. I’ll always remember his big smile, great enthusiasm and deep strong voice!

To Peggy, Rich, Carolyn and all the family, please accept sincere condolences and love from me and Angie.


Condolence from Ingrid Cooksey on December 11th, 2020 2:36 pm

He was always such a lovely and gracious man with a ready smile. May that smile continue to light up the heavens in his next adventure.

Condolence from Mike Copeland on December 12th, 2020 12:18 pm

A man of many accomplishments, Gerry was so helpful when I retired and sought a volunteer activity. He connected me with Florence Crittenden, where I spent several years helping its work in Phoenix. Gerry’s friendship further led me to my current work as a Navigator at Sky Harbor airport.
Libby and I send our deepest condolences, Peggy, and we will think of you both at Keegans.
Mike Copeland

Condolence from Cindy Halpern on December 15th, 2020 3:38 pm

Dear Peggy, Barry and I were saddened to hear of Gerry’s passing. He was a great guy and we always enjoyed speaking to him at mutual events we were attending. We hope that revisiting all the good times you had will help.
Cindy and Barry Halpern

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