He was born December 17, 1932 near Dille, WV, the son of Vernon Murphy Sr. and Tressa Dix Murphy.
He grew up in the Dille area and attended Nicholas County schools, graduating from Nicholas County High School in the class of 1950.
After graduation he was a steelworker in Ohio and Pennsylvania until he enlisted in the US Marine Corps in January 1953. He spent four years as a Marine, attained the rank of sergeant, and received an honorable discharge in January 1957.
While serving with the Marines he completed his freshman year of college, attending night classes at Florida State University. After military service he attended Glenville State College and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1960. He later earned a master’s degree from West Virginia University and completed additional graduate studies at Marshall University. While attending WVU he was inducted into the Phi Delta Kappa education honorary.
He began a career in education as a teacher at Widen High School in 1960. He was a teacher and the basketball and baseball coach at Walkersville High School from 1962 until 1966, and then served as physical education director for Webster County schools until 1973. He accepted a position as Director of Guidance at Braxton County High School in 1973 where he remained until retirement in 1988.
After his retirement he was co-founder and manager of the widely known Bluegrass Connection Music Store in Birch River.
He was married in 1958 to Anna Mae Johnson of Herold, WV. They were the parents of two sons, Michael Vernon and Mark Alan.
Vernon was a member of Birch River Baptist Church. He was a charter member and retired chief of the Birch River Fire Department, and also served as an EMT with the rescue squad and ambulance service.
He was a charter member and president of the Birch River Ruritan Club and past president of the Birch River PTA. He was a coach for little league and pony league baseball for the youth of Birch River
Vernon was an athlete, a member of his high school football team, and played independent league baseball and basketball in the central West Virginia area. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, team sports, NASCAR, and dirt track racing. He loved bluegrass and traditional country music and had many friends among bands and musicians.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his loving wife of 54 years, Anna Mae, brother Charles Doy Murphy, and sister Opal Jones.
He is survived by sons Michael (Debbie) of Clarksburg, MD and Mark of Birch River; grandsons Cody (Samantha) and Luke Murphy of Summersville and Matthew (Bri) Murphy of Frederick, MD; granddaughter Amanda (Nick) Lamont of Herndon, VA; step-granddaughters Kelly (Tim) Martin of Pasadena, MD and Katie (Ryan) Hill of Damascus, MD; step-grandson Patrick Wetzel of Clarksburg, MD, great-granddaughter Penny Murphy of Summerville; great-grandson Maxwell Lamont of Herndon, VA, step-great-grandsons Jacob and Joshua Hill of Damascus, MD; sister Joy Browning of Dille; several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and special family members Kathy and Larry Browning of Strange Creek.
A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 12th, at the Greene-Robertson Funeral Home in Sutton with the Rev. James Murphy officiating. Burial followed in the Keener-Wood Cemetery in Birch River. Friends called from 6 to 8 pm Friday, November 11th at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Birch River Baptist Church, Birch River WV 26610, or the Birch River Fire Department, PO Box 183, Birch River WV 26610.
Greene-Robertson Funeral Home, Sutton is honored to be serving the Murphy family.
Online condolences may be sent to greene-robertsonfuneralhome.com.