Joseph Murphy III

Obituary of Joseph Lee Murphy III

Joseph Lee Murphy III passed away on the morning of June 22, 2020, at the age of 59.  He was born on February 2, 1961 in Grand Rapids, MI the first of three sons of the late Lee and Judith Murphy.  Joe was always an industrious young man even in his elementary years. He would rise early and deliver newspapers before school, and then race to the fields to play baseball in the afternoons. Throughout high school, his love of baseball continued, but it was the swimming pool where he really excelled – holding several school and city records.


After high school Joe attended Calvin College and then received his bachelor’s degree in 1983 from the University of Michigan where he was a proud member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity.  From his beloved Ann Arbor, Joe moved out west and resided in Los Angeles and then San Diego for 35 years, working in the office furniture industry and ultimately opening up his own small business. 


No matter how long Joe was out of Michigan, he always remained a Midwesterner at heart. He also fervently embraced his Irish heritage and Catholic faith.  He was outspoken and known for his wry wit and easy laugh. Joe was always analytical in nature and lived life intentionally.  He also enjoyed the simple things like “tinkering” around, listening to music, reading and watching shadows dancing in the light.  He was a collector of curios, from heart shaped stones to smoking pipes and classic cars.  Among his favorite pastimes was cleaning and cruising in one of his meticulously cared for cars.


Joe is survived by his wife Maya; his brothers Paul Murphy, John (Nahid) Murphy and Steve (Jen) DeRoos; his step mother Sue Murphy; his nieces and nephews Colin Murphy, Caitlin Murphy, Shannon Murphy, Matthew (Colleen) Murphy, Michelle (James) Burkhardt, Noah Murphy, Elizabeth Murphy, Nate DeRoos, Nick DeRoos, Sam DeRoos; and his dearly loved puppy, Shadow Nanook Joseph Lee Murphy. 


Assuming no change in current Covid restrictions, a public funeral mass will be held at the Immaculata, located on the USD Campus, at 11 am on July 15th.   The mass will be recorded, please email for the link.  There will also be a funeral mass in Grand Rapids, at St. Robert of Newminster - date and time TBD.  Joseph will be buried alongside his revered father at Woodlawn Cemetery in Grand Rapids.  In lieu of flowers, donations to the charities of Joseph’s choice would be appreciated:  Catholic Charities and St. Vincent de Paul.

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Funeral mass

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
The Immaculata
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, California, United States
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