Henry P. Murphy was devoted to his family.
Murphy died Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. He was 84.
He was born Nov. 22, 1928, in Philadelphia to the late Harrington and Fannie Murphy. He was the fourth of six children, five of whom preceded him in death.
Murphy joined the First African Baptist Church at an early age. Although not a member of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, he considered Pastor Alyn Waller his pastor and looked forward to streaming Enon live every Sunday morning and attending resurrection worship at the Liacouras Center every year.
Murphy was a proud graduate of South Philadelphia High School. After graduation from high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served his country from 1948 until 1952. After his honorable discharge from military service, Murphy returned to Philadelphia and met the love of his life, Hazel Sanford, at church in 1955. They were married at her home in 1956 and enjoyed more than 56 years of marriage. The couple had two sons, Daryl and Kevin.
Education was among the couple’s highest priorities. With Hazel’s love and support, Murphy went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in accounting from LaSalle University and an MBA in financial management from Drexel University. They provided their sons with the resources and support for them both to graduate from Central High School and Villanova University.
Murphy’s extensive employment history included positions in accounting and auditing with community accountants, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, The U.S. Marine Corp Supply Agency and WHAT Radio. In addition, he served as the assistant district director for the Small Business Administration and the assistant finance director for the city of Philadelphia.
His family said, some of his proudest professional accomplishments included being elected assistant treasurer and appointed the first African-American bank branch manager for First Pennsylvania Bank, as well as his economic development work in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Belize while serving as economic development manager for OIC, International.
Murphy served as an adjunct professor of various business subjects at Community College of Philadelphia, Bowie Sate College in Maryland, Antioch University, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the American Institute of Banking and Pioneer Business Institute.
After he retired from professional life, he continued to contribute his talents and energy working with his close friend, Cody Anderson, at ACG Associates, Inc.
Murphy was civic-minded and served on several non-profit boards of directors. He was a member of Volunteers for Change, the Philadelphia Urban League, National Business League, the Minority Business Enterprise Council and Women Against Abuse. He also served as treasurer of the Ephraim Federal Credit Union and accountant for the Black Community Fund. Over the years, Murphy was a member of two social clubs, Club Jester’s and Club Tetra, and served as “toastmaster” at many social and professional events.
He was an African and African American history scholar and an avid reader of books, magazines and newspapers. He was also a devoted viewer of the History Channel, MSNBC, Bill Maher, and a devoted listener of 900 AM-WURD.
“As a result, he had a voracious vocabulary and was conversant in almost every subject locally, nationally and internationally,” his family said.
He enjoyed researching subjects on the internet and keeping up with his friends on Facebook.
Murphy was an ardent supporter of President Barack Obama and the first family. His family said he took great pride in being a part of Obama’s election and re-election and what it meant for both current and future generations.
Murphy’s family referred to him as an excellent leader who taught them that “the first requirement of a good leader is to be a good follower.”
In addition to Murphy’s intellectual and civic pursuits, he was an athlete and an artist. He was a sprinter and long jumper, played basketball and softball and did a little boxing. According to his family, Murphy enjoyed watching all sports, but boxing and track and field were his favorites. He was a fixture at the Penn Relays and took great pride in watching his sons compete in sporting events.
He enjoyed sketching, painting and listening to various genres of music including swing, big band, jazz, gospel and his favorite, classical music.
In addition to his wife and two sons, Murphy is survived by his daughter -in-law, Robyn; sister, Ethel Sanford and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held February 22 at 11 a.m. at Enon Tabernacle Church, 230 West Coulter Street.