PITTSFIELD, Mass. — David W. Murphy Jr., a lawyer, outdoorsman and eternal optimist, died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes on May 26, 2018, at his Pittsfield home. He was 64.
Dave personified enthusiasm. He derived enormous pleasure from a range of athletic activities that he pursued throughout his too-brief life. His most recent passion was golf; he played whenever he had the chance and delighted in recording his first sub-90 game last summer. His endeavors helped him maintain his trim, dapper appearance, which was complemented by his easy smile and his friendly greetings. If he forgot the name of someone he met, he employed a simple stratagem to offset awkwardness. He would blurt out a name – “hey, Stan!” – then allow the other person to correct him.
Before golf led Dave’s list of favorite sports, he mastered hiking and mountaineering, becoming a member of the Adirondack 46ers, a group of climbers who have reached the summits of the 46 major mountains of the Adirondack range. He had recently set his sights on membership in the Winter 46ers. He ran in four major marathons, including the Marine Corps Marathon and the Boston Marathon, and went skiing frequently. An avid reader, Dave was always well informed and enjoyed few things better than spirited arguments, particularly over politics.
Growing up in the southeast section of Pittsfield, Dave made lifelong friends, many of whom were his Pee Wee, junior high and high school ice hockey teammates. Captain of the Pittsfield High School team in his senior year, he was reputed to have “led the league” in number of penalties; he also was proud to have been a member of the first PHS ice hockey team to defeat the Taconic High School squad in the early 1970s.
David William Murphy Jr. was born April 21, 1954, son of the late David W. Murphy Sr. and Callie Mary Murphy. He graduated from PHS in 1972 and from Boston College in 1976. He received his law degree from New England School of Law in 1983.
After college and before law school, Dave busied himself in diverse ways. He drove a taxi cab in Boston, worked for the Republican National Committee in Oklahoma (“the Democrats didn’t hire me”) and went into the house painting business with several friends from high school.
He began practicing law in Pittsfield in 1983. He worked hard for his clients and was often to be found in his office until well after dark. Over the years, his law partners included Francis X. Spina, a retired justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, retired Probate and Family Court Judge Edward J. Lapointe, Mitchell Greenwald and the late David C. Katz.
A past president of the Berkshire Bar Association, Dave served on numerous local boards and commissions, including the Mobile Home Rent Control Board, Berkshire Place, Meals on Wheels, Elder Services of Berkshire County and the West Side Neighborhood Resource Center.
Dave leaves his former wife, Lori (Conway) Murphy; a daughter, Katie C. Murphy and her partner, Christian Bianchi, of Pittsfield; his sons Daniel F. Murphy of Dennis, Mass., and Matthew V. Murphy of Girdwood, Alaska; grandchildren Cole and Charles Allen Bianchi; his siblings, Callie Murphy McGovern and her husband, Phillip, of Chevy Chase, Md., John W. Murphy and his wife, Joanne, of Pittsfield, Kristina Parker and her husband, Ronald, of Centennial, Colo., and Andrew K. Murphy and his wife, Jane, of Brewster, Mass.; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Funeral notice: Funeral services for David will be Thursday, June 7, at 10 a.m. at St. Mark Church with a Liturgy of Christian Burial celebrated by the Rev. David E. Aufiero, Pastor. Calling hours will be Wednesday, June 6, 2018, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Dery Funeral Home in Pittsfield. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Marilyn Hamilton Sports Literacy Program at the Christian Center, 193 Robbins Ave., Pittsfield, in care of the funeral home.