Murphy, Dr. James William ‘Bill’


Dr. James William “Bill” Murphy, 68, peacefully passed away on Saturday, August 18, 2018, surrounded by loved ones. Bill was born on January 14, 1950, in Jonesboro, Ark., to Charles and Mary Cecilia (Gatz) Murphy. At an early age, Bill knew that becoming an educator was his passion. After graduating with his Doctorate of Education, Bill taught at Memphis State, University of Louisiana-Monroe, Pittsburg State University, Western Kentucky University, and Winona State University.

Although instilling a passion of learning in others was important, the pride of Bill’s life was his family. Bill and Carol (Heitz) were married in 1983. They then spent the next 34 years raising and enjoying their four children and two grandchildren. Beyond their family, Bill and Carol also enjoyed supporting one another in their careers and interests. Bill will be remembered each time one of his baked goods or recipes is enjoyed.

Bill is survived by his wife, Carol; children, Dr. Kimberly Murphy, Rock Island, Ill., Kyle (Bridget) Murphy, Bellevue, Neb., Kristina Murphy, West Liberty, Iowa, and Kristopher (Barbara) Murphy, Topeka, Kan.; and grandchildren, Joseph and Kendall Murphy, Bellevue, Neb. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Beth Williams, and her children, Connie and Cecil, and their families; as well as in-laws, Marilyn Heitz, Mark and Lisa Heitz, and their daughter, Kara, and her family, and Lynne Gleason Murphy, and her daughter, Missy, and family.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his parents-in-law, Joe and Hazel Heitz; and his brother, Joe Murphy.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Topeka where the family will receive friends from 9-9:30 a.m. and a Rosary will be prayed at 9:30 a.m. Graveside inurnment will take place in Garden of Memories Cemetery in Pittsburg, Kan., at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to an educator or educational facility of the donor’s choice.

Dove Southeast Chapel, 2843 SE Minnesota Avenue, in Topeka, is assisting the family.

To leave the family a special message online, please visit

Search Archives

Our online forms will help you through the process. Just fill in the fields with your information.

Any troubles, give us a call.