Life Story: William J. Murphy, 78; Co-Founder Of Township Rec Soccer League

Mr. William J. Murphy passed away on January 19, surrounded by his wife of 56 years and his four kids. He was 78 years young, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend.

Bill was born in Bayonne, spent most of his youthful years growing up in Elizabeth, and for the past 53 years, called Franklin Park his home. He influenced many lives during his 47 years of teaching art. Beginning in 1963 he taught for five years at Dunellen High School. He continued at East Brunswick High School for 42 years, with his primary passion being photography, and retired in 2010.

In his prime, he was a force to be reckoned with on the soccer field and wrestling mat. When his years of playing were over, he stayed with sports by coaching and refereeing. Bill was responsible for bringing the wrestling program to Dunellen High School and was a beloved coach for wrestling and soccer at East Brunswick High School. He was also one of the founding fathers for the Franklin Township Recreation Soccer Club which is still thriving today. In his later years, Bill’s love for sports found a very vocal place on the sidelines for his grandchildren.

Outside of his love for family and sports, Bill maintained a passion for photography. He was a member of the Raritan Photo Society and the Metuchen Photo Club. He loved sharing his passion with like-minded individuals, passing on his own knowledge and learning from the experience of others to continually challenge himself.

One of Bill’s favorite places was behind the wheel on a roadtrip. Distance didn’t matter as long as he had his camper in tow, his wife navigating from the passenger seat, his butterscotch hard candies in the console, and John Denver on the radio. Before his passing he was able to achieve a bucket list item of NJ to Alaska. Over 14,000 miles, his most memorable adventure, shared with his favorite co-pilot.

Mr. William J. Murphy was pre-deceased by his brother, Br. Christopher Murphy, OFM CONV, lovingly known as Uncle Jimmy. He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 56 years, Catherine Murphy, along with their four children, children’s spouses, and grandchildren: Colleen Morelli and husband Tony with their children Max James, and Taylor Ann of Readington; Maureen Murphy-Fernandez and husband Frank with their children Grace Catherine, Francisco William, and Carlin Murphy of Franklin Park; Scott Murphy and wife Nina with their son Zackery Scott of Readington; Melissa Murphy-Mento and husband Tony Mento with their children Madison and Macey Paige of Franklin Park.

Visiting will be held from 4-8 p.m. January 22 at Gleason Funeral Home, 1360 Hamilton Street. Services will begin at 9:30 a.m. January 23 at the funeral home followed by a 10 a.m. mass at St. Matthias Church in Somerset. Cremation will then take place privately.

At Mr. Murphy’s request, please attend any of the services dressed in bright and lively attire, just as he lived his life.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his name to the Wescoe Foundation for Pulmonary Fibrosis, 229 N. Main St., Coopersburg, PA 18036 or via website at https://wescoefoundationforpulmonaryfibrosis.org/.

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