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Page 44
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<< 43. More Photos from the VVAW Archives45. Statue of Liberty Takeover, 1971: An Interview with Jim Murphy >>

James Edward Murphy: 1945-2023

By Susan Murphy

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James Edward Murphy was born September 3, 1945, to Margaret Elizabeth (Dwyer) Murphy and Francis Eugene Murphy. He was raised in Fairport, NY, with three brothers—Dennis, William, and John. Jim was the third in the line of the Murphy boys. After a 4 ½ year survival with Stage 4 cancer, Jim passed on June 29, 2023.

Anyone who knew Jim knew what a force of nature he was. After serving in the Air Force in Vietnam, he became actively involved in the peace movement, joining Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace. In 1971, he was one of the Dewey Canyon III action coordinators, in which Vietnam veterans threw their medals back on the Capitol steps to protest the war. He was also one of 14 Vietnam Veterans Against the War who took over the Statue of Liberty on December 26, 1971. His experiences in Vietnam galvanized a lifelong commitment to working for peace and justice.

Jim attended the University of Maryland, where he studied Special Education and Outdoor Education. He did graduate work in Alternative Education at Indiana University.

Jim's career as an educator included the Shon Tai Wilderness School in Virginia and the Hillside School for Children in Rochester. For the final 23 years of his career, he served wholeheartedly and passionately as Dean of Students at the Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School in New York City.

Jim met and married musician Susan Mondzak in New York City in 1985. In 1992, their partnership extended into their professional lives, creating the Teen Talk Radio program and extending their family to all their students. Their son, Corey Marcus Murphy, was born in 1988….the absolute pride of their lives. Jim loved his family more than words can ever say.

In retirement, Jim and Susan moved to Ithaca in 2009, fully embracing the community. Jim helped launch the fledgling radio station WRFI and was their morning show host for five years. Jim mentored and advocated for military veterans struggling with PTSD from their tours in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He co-led the local chapter of Warrior Writers. His lifelong activism included serving on the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

His other passions were a love of the Adirondacks, railroad antiques, and golden retrievers.

Jim is survived by his wife, Susan, and son, Corey; his daughter-in-law, Sheila Sullivan Murphy; and his grandson, Eugene James Murphy. He never got to meet his granddaughter, Josephine Gita Murphy….BUT HE KNEW "IT WAS A GIRL!"

He is also survived by brothers John (Janice) and Dennis, his nieces and nephews Caitlin, Brian, Lisa, Matt, Mike, Tim, Erin, and Kathy – and all the students and friends who loved him.

Grandson Eugene and Jim.

Jim in the Adirondacks.

Jim Murphy, Barry Romo, and Bruce Hyland at anti-war march January, 2007.

Jim Murphy, Bruce Hyland, Barry Romo, and Marty Webster at anti-war march in Washington, DC, January, 2007.

<< 43. More Photos from the VVAW Archives45. Statue of Liberty Takeover, 1971: An Interview with Jim Murphy >>