Michael P. Murphy, 79, HHS Star Athlete, Restaurant Owner

michael_murphyMichael P. Murphy, 79, husband of Valerie C. (Menzies) Murphy, passed away at his Haverhill home Tuesday morning, May 4, with his wife by his side.

Murphy was born in Haverhill, son of the late M. Frances “Butts” and Zelma P. (MacDougall) Murphy. Raised and educated in Haverhill, he attended Haverhill Public Schools and was a graduate of Haverhill High School, class of 1954.  He was a star athlete on both the basketball and football teams at Haverhill High School.  He served his country in the United States Army during peacetime and was honorably discharged. He was a self-employed restaurateur, owner of Murphy’s Pub in Manchester, N.H., and he, along with his wife, owned and operated Little Timber Nature Store in Portsmouth, N.H., for more than 20 years. He cherished all of his grandchildren and was lovingly known as “Taida” to all of them. He enjoyed taking them deep sea fishing and teaching them how to ski. He was a longtime member of the Garibaldi Club in Haverhill and a supporter of the Haverhill Inner City Boxing Club. He traveled extensively with his wife Valerie, with whom he spent 37 years.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter Dawn Marie Apitz of Bradford; step children, Thomas and Ellen Menzies of Manassas, Virg.; Cheryl Kessel and her husband Michael of Bradford; Tracy Kuver and her husband Adam of Bradford; brother James Murphy and his wife Ellen of Salisbury; sister, Diane Roberts of Hampton, N.H.; 14 grandchildren, Adam, Sharese, Mathew, Haley, Christopher, Briana, Rhian, Michaela, Ian, Austin, Mariah, Thomas, Daniel and Anna-Cate; one great granddaughter, Alexis. He was predeceased by his children, Joshua Murphy and Nicholas Murphy; and his sister Patricia Murphy.

Family and friends are invited to attend calling hours Friday, May 6 from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Kevin B. Comeau Funeral Home, 486 Main St., Haverhill. Funeral services will begin at the funeral home at10, Saturday morning, with a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 11 a.m., at St. James Church, Winter Street, Haverhill. Burial with Military Honors will follow at St. James Cemetery, Primrose Street, Haverhill. Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215-5450.