John Gerald ''Jack'' Murphy
May 15, 2017

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  John Gerald “Jack” Murphy, a Professor, Teacher, Electrical Engineer, and longtime member of the Shawsheen Valley Technical High School School Committee passed away after a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease on Monday, May 15, 2017. He was 84 years old.

Jack was born and raised in West Roxbury. He was one of four children born to John J. and Cecelia Murphy. He grew up in West Roxbury and was a 1951 graduate of Boston English School. He then joined the United States Air Force during the Korean War, proudly serving his Country at Hill AFB, Utah as a member of the 444th Fighter Interceptor Squadron where he was a recipient of The National Defense Service Medal and The Good Conduct Medal.

In 1957 after serving his Country, he returned to the Boston area and went on to meet the love of his life, Claire (Martin) Murphy while working part time at Fabreeka Products Company. He enrolled in classes at Northeastern University where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering. He worked his first job in engineering at General Electric in Pittsfield, MA where he stayed for 5 years. After missing family, friends, and "e;the city life"e; he loved so, he returned to the area. Jack worked at Sylvania for 5 years and after being laid off discovered his passion for teaching. That is when he decided to return to school at night to earn his Master’s Degree in Education from Fitchburg State College. After earning his Education Degree, Jack worked as a Teacher at both Wilmington High School and Peabody Vocational Technical High School teaching a wide variety of classes including mathematics, sciences and electronics. He then took a position as a Professor at Middlesex Community College where he taught Math and Science. Teaching was his calling. He loved helping his students understand complex concepts, allowing them to better themselves and helping them prepare for their professional lives. He retired at the age of 70 after 24 years with Middlesex.

In 1965 he bought a home in Burlington where he would remain for the rest of his life. He believed in community and involved him self in local politics, 4th of July Committee, and Pine Glen Carnival. He was a longtime advocate for the establishment of a Regional Vocational High School for the area and represented Burlington on the School Committee for 12 years. In 1974 when Shawsheen Valley Technical High School opened its doors, he enjoyed being part of the birth of a new school by helping to interview teachers and establish policies. He served as Chairperson of the School Committee for several years and had a great relationship with the students, faculty, and parents. He was proud to be a strong advocate for education.

Jack was a man who was always on the go and enjoying life. He was a passionate golfer, playing regularly with his many friends. He was a “Snowbird” during his retirement years spending winters in Light House Point, Florida. Along with golf, he enjoyed taking long walks, riding his bike, visiting Boston and socializing with his fellow retirees and Veterans. Jack cherished his time in the military and had no problem striking up a conversation when he saw someone wearing any sort of military attire or driving a car with a Veterans License plate. Jack was a supportive, loving husband father but when his grandchildren came along, he relished in his role as “Jack”. He treasured his time with his grandchildren, whether it was just being silly, taking them to the park, or playing a game in the backyard. He lived his life focusing on his family. His kindness and concern for the ‘little guy’ as well as his honesty was something his friends and extended family witnessed consistently and this set high standards for them to live by. Jack was blessed with a unique and tremendous sense of humor. He always had the ability to keep everybody laughing at family gatherings. John was the devoted husband of 58 years to his beloved Claire (Martin) Murphy.

He was the loving father of Christopher of Burlington, Colleen Hennigan of Leominster, Carolyn Beltran of Tewksbury and Dennis & his wife Kerri of Atkinson, NH. He was the proud grandfather of Chelsea Simard, Brian Hennigan, Ryan, Bradley, Jason, Ava & Riley Murphy, and Deven & Cassidy Beltran and predeceased by his eldest grandchild Daniel Simard III. He was predeceased by his siblings Jean Brown and Robert & Gerald Murphy and by his Grandson Daniel Simard III. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Malachy Church, 99 Bedford St., Burlington on Friday, May 19 at 12 Noon. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, BURLINGTON. Relatives & friends respectfully invited to attend. Visiting hours omitted. In lieu of flowers memorials in John’s name may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Rd., Waltham, MA 02452 =
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