Obituary:James E. Murphy Jr.
James E. Murphy, Jr., 96, passed away Saturday, Aug. 18, in Hemet, Calif.
He was born in Ritzville on Jan. 27, 1916, to James E. Murphy Sr. and Ruby Murphy. He was raised on the family wheat farm west of Washtucna near the Sandhills along with his younger sister, Evelyn.
When he was 14, his father had a farm accident and he took over the farm operation. His responsibilities included hitching teams of horses to the combine for harvest and sewing grain sacks shut. It was said that he was an extremely hard worker and managed to keep everything going. He even put Evelyn through college at Cheney Normal, now Eastern Washington University.
He met and married Vera Thompson in 1941. Now supporting two families, he needed to expand the farm operations. He added more wheat ground and began raising cattle. The cow-calf operation started in Oregon, moved to Browning, Mont. for several years and eventually settled along Pine Creek near Tonasket, Wash. in 1958.
He was an original member of the Rimrock Grange (80 years), Washington Association of Wheat Growers, Washington Cattlemen’s Association, Fraternal Order of Eagles (Tonasket) and Omak Elks.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Vera, in October of 2010; parents, James and Ruby Murphy; and sister, Evelyn Gau.
He is survived by a daughter, Jerilee (John) Crossman of Hemet, Calif.; son, Mickey (Linda) Murphy of Washtucna; five granddaughters; and five great-grandchildren.
A family graveside service is to be held on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Ritzville Memorial Cemetery at 9 a.m., followed by a memorial service at the Washtucna Community Church at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Rimrock Grange No. 941, Washtucna, WA 99371.