BOERNE, Texas – Dennis Jerome “DJ” Murphy, beloved husband, brother, father, and grandfather, was born Jan. 28, 1938, in Chicago. He passed away Saturday, April 20, 2013.
As the oldest sibling of nine children, DJ possessed a natural affinity for responsibility. From the time he was 12 years old until he was 65, DJ worked. Beginning with his job as a paperboy, DJ paved his way through various other forms of employment, from social work to teaching (both in the high school setting and in the medical setting), and consultant work. Interspersed among his many jobs, he also earned a bachelor’s degree from Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, and a master’s in social work from the University of Iowa.
It was in the Quad Cities that he met and married Sarah Gowan. Always up for a new adventure, DJ had met someone who could match him pace for pace. Together, they shared a life of love, joy, and friendship, and combined their families to enjoy the entertainment that was sure to come with eight kids and 23 grandkids ... many who shared the same unique sense of humor as DJ.
Traveling across the country, DJ’s love of life had him undertaking many different endeavors – from leading motivational seminars to becoming a volunteer EMT in the Alpine, Ariz., Fire Department, to creating the most beautiful wood craftsmanship – from canoes, for his love of outdoors, to cradles and rocking horses that his grandchildren will treasure always. All of these experiences finally culminated in allowing him to achieve his lifelong goal, becoming a published writer. His novel, “Requiem for the Puppet Master,” was published in fall 2012.
DJ lived the remainder of his life in Boerne, Texas, where his love of the outdoors and the quaintness of the small towns continued. Before his death, DJ was working on another novel.
No matter where DJ lived his life or what adventure he was embarking upon, one thing remained the same, he loved and was loved.
DJ is survived by his wife, Sarah Gowan; his daughters, Betsy (Doug) Skattie of Tucson, Ariz., Sue (Mark) Cope of Dallas, and Maria (Jim) Duncan of Madison, Wis.; and his son, Sean (Kathy) Murphy of Des Moines, Iowa; his stepdaughters, Lisa (Issac) Ramirez of El Paso, Texas, and Debbie (Travis) Hawkins of Cypress, Texas; and stepsons, Thomas (Suzanne) Gowan of San Antonio and Gregory (Crystal) Gowan of Corpus Christi, Texas; and 23 grandchildren. He also is survived by his siblings, Tom (Annette) Murphy, Kathy (Tony) Sheridan, Michael (Rosemary) Murphy, Terry (Nukoon) Murphy, Teresa (Eddie) Cozzens, Molly (Carol) Sutton, Dan (Annie) Murphy, and sisters-in-law, Teena Sandstrom and Carolyn Wittrup.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Pat.
A celebration of DJ’s life will be June 29, 2013, in Le Claire, Iowa.