Robert William Richard Murphey 1936 – 2016

Robert William Richard Murphey of Nampa, Idaho lost his battle with cancer on June 12, 2016 surrounded by family. Bob was born to Edna Susanna (Mattson) and Richard Grant Murphey, Sr. on the family farm in Rudyard, Michigan on April 1, 1936. He was raised in Michigan and moved to Los Angeles, California where he graduated from Manual Arts High School, worked as a machinist, married Myrna Grace Pitzen and had two children, Gerald Graham and Debra Eileen, before relocating to Caldwell, Idaho in 1973. He worked as a machinist and later mechanical engineer for Ace Machine, Agrilines and Selkirk-Metalbestos. In 1980, he married Esther Lynn Fowler and in 1984 had Brian Robert.

Those are the basic facts concerning Robert, but the details comprising his rich life are many and varied giving evidence to a complex and complete man known to friends as “Bob.”

Like his name, he was the same forwards and backwards. He was a straight-shooter bearing no hidden agenda. He spoke his mind, had strong opinion, but possessed the rare quality to think before speaking or acting. When asked a question, the inquirer often thought that Bob hadn’t heard the question when in fact he was preparing a thoughtful response. He would ruminate over problems or puzzles until he could confidently and competently solve them. Often he would wake up at night mentally tracing processes and options until he could land on the best approach to whatever challenge piqued his inquisitive and logical mind. This ability made him a treasured asset for employers and the person friends and family could go to for anything.

Bob was good at whatever he did. If he was your friend, he was your best friend. He approached his hobbies with zeal and purpose including back-packing, dirt bikes, and water skiing. For many years, trap shooting was his passion and he traveled to many clubs to participate in or volunteer for shoots. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and working with the Boy Scouts.

Although Bob wasn’t a teacher by trade, he taught something practical and useful to nearly everyone who knew him. Additionally, many will remember less glamorous aspects of Bob: His snoring was epic, his humor dry and intelligently witty and he could be a creative prankster. To know Bob was to delight in the devilish twinkle in his eye and the shadow of a grin when he was about to deliver insightful one-liners or repartee.
If Bob had a stated philosophy, it could probably be summed up in a line written by one of his employees who chose him as the subject of an English composition paper. According to Bob, “You can still be a self-made man. All you need is ambition. If you are unhappy, then change it.”

Bob was preceded in death by his parents and brother Richard Murphey, Jr.
He is survived by his wife, Esther; children, Gerald, Debra and Brian; granddaughter Janelle Murphey; sisters Janyce Dissin and Carolynne Bisel; brother Gregory; and beloved brother-in-law and sisters-in-law, aunt, and cousins.