Dwight Louis (Doc) Murphy, 83, of Georgetown, S.C., died March 29, 2012 from complications involving COPD, a chronic pulmonary disease.
He was born May 10, 1928 in Fulton to Dwight Louis and Margaret Howe Murphy. He was an avid sailor and taught sailing at the Fair Haven Yacht Club. He built both Prams and Thistles.
He received a BA in music from Potsdam’s Crane School of Music and a master’s degree in music from the Manhattan School of Music in NYC. From 1952-1954, he taught at the Army band training school at Fort Dix, N.J. and played in the orchestra for the USO. He also played the trombone and double bass with many big bands from the era.
After marrying Nancy (Nanny) Louise Purcell July 13, 1957, he taught music in Munnsville, N.Y. for several years before moving to Lake Placid, where he taught band and orchestra in the local school and played with the Lake Placid Club Band.
In the early 1960s, the family relocated to Altamont, N.Y. where he taught music in the Colonie school district for 28 years and played double bass in the Albany Symphony Orchestra.
Upon retirement from public school teaching, he started on a lifelong dream project of building a 38’ cruising sailboat made of Ferro cement called “Mrs. Murphy.”
Upon turning 50, he built his first banjo from a kit and learned the claw hammer style. He also picked up his fiddle again, focusing on the old time fiddle tunes. In 1993, he began documenting, collecting and notating old tunes for younger classical students not versed in learning by ear.
He instructed both adults and children at the Music School in Georgetown for several years.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy Purcell Murphy of Georgetown, S.C.; daughter, Martha Murphy of Reno, Nev.; son, Mark Edmond Murphy of Shohola, Pa.; two granddaughters, Molly and Sally Murphy; two grandsons, Samuel and Airman Jacob Earl; sister, Sheila Bidwell of Naples, Fla.; brothers, Mark H. Murphy of Englewood, N.J. and Kevin Murphy of Salinas, Calif.; sister–in-law, Patricia Purcell of Roslindale, Mass.; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, and students.
A musical–personal tribute will be held today, April 7 at the Newton’s Black Water River lot from 3 to 5 p.m.
Contributions may be made to the Old Time Herald at www.oldtomeherald.org or Old Time Music Group, PO Box 61679 Durham, NC 27715.