Ronald Murphy Sr.

November 7, 1936 ~ March 2, 2024 (age 87) 87 Years Old
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Ronald Murphy Sr. Obituary

Ronald Murphy was born, raised, educated In, and a proud native of New Jersey. Proud brother of Bruce, (Barbara), Harlon, and, sister Dale.  He was pre-deceased by his mother, Alice Murphy, father Elek Miles, and siblings Andy, Candy, Connie, and Allison. Ronald had diverse interests from a very young age and tried a myriad of careers before discovering librarianship was his true calling.

He worked in such varied fields as baking, insurance, and the U.S. Postal Service before becoming the proprietor of Murphy's Thing, Inc., a neighborhood deli and grocery store that was actually a precursor to N.I.C.H.E. The Neighborhood Information Center Helps Everyone, was an Information and Referral pilot project of the Montclair Public Library, which operated out of a local storefront on Bloomfield Ave, and where Murphy worked as a community research associate.

N.I.C.H.E. moved Into the Montclair Public Library in 1977, and in 1979, Director Michael Connell appointed him Head of Circulation. While serving in this capacity, Murphy attended Rutgers University's School of Communication, Information, and Library Science, earning his master’s degree in 1983. He continued his library career at Montclair, becoming Division Chief of Operations.

In addition to starting the Library's first African American Book Discussion Group, he distinguished himself during his long service at Montclair Public Library by participating In local, state, national, and international organizations such as the New Jersey Library Association, Black Librarians of New Jersey, Public Library Association, American Library Association, Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and People-to-People, through which he and other teachers and librarians traveled to China and to Cuba to interact with their counterparts there. One of Murphy's accomplishments, of which he was justifiably most proud, was that he influenced, recommended, and/or helped upwards of thirty people attend library school to become librarians.

Murphy's community work has included involvement with the N.AAC.P., C.O.R.E., community advisor to the Montclair High School's Black Student Union, Glenfield Park Advisory Board, the Essex County Youth and Rehabilitation Commission, and is a founding member of Million Man Montclair.

Murphy was an avid photographer. In addition to providing photographic history of such local Events as the African American Heritage and Fourth-of-July parades and the recent (thirty-year) history of the Montclair Public Library, his photographs capture their subject matter and translated them through the prism of Murphy’s depth of understanding, and his appreciation of, and zest for life.

One of the greatest joys of his life was working with the Montclair Child Development Center, Inc. He served as the board chair for 13 years until he transitioned to board member emeritus in 2023. He enjoyed working with the board and staff, attending events, and taking pictures, especially of the children. His love and dedication to the agency will be remembered fondly.

Ronald did enjoy the support of his wife of 64 years, Marva Taylor Murphy who pre-deceased him. Ronald was also pre-deceased by his beautiful daughter Marva. He was the proud father of Ronald Jr, Dawn, (Roger), Sean,(Amy), and, Tim. Loving grandfather of Rayjourn, Jaleeka, Jakeem, Jawanna, Kiernan, Tristan, and Tara. A doting great-grandfather of Zaleah, Anolah, Yakaiser and Kahar.

Murphy was an advisor, mentor, friend, and surrogate father to countless others.

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Gathering of Family and Friends
April 13, 2024

10:00 AM
St. Paul Baptist Church (Montclair, NJ)

Memorial Service
April 13, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Paul Baptist Church (Montclair, NJ)

Please note
Mr. Murphy's service can be viewed live stream via Youtube: ST PAUL BAPTIST CHURCH MONTCLAIR NJ

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