Russell N. Murphy, Jr., “Russ”, 73, passed away February 14, 2020. Born in Akron, Ohio on May 8, 1946 to Russell N. Murphy Sr. and Helen L. (Yale) Murphy, he was an Akron resident his whole life.
He attended Seiberling and Betty Jane elementary schools and then graduated from Ellet High School in 1964. After graduation, Russ worked at Adamson United until he joined the Navy in 1965. While in the Navy he served in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal, the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Vietnam, the China Sea, the Sea of Japan and the Caribbean. He had so many memories of the places he visited and the people he met. Russ was active for 2 years with 4 years remaining of his commitment, but because of his being in Vietnam, he was not required to attend reserves for the remaining 4 years. He came home in September of 1967 where he returned to Adamson United, and studied Criminal Justice at the University of Akron. When Adamson United closed shop, he worked for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in the Security Division, starting in 1970. After 5 years with Goodyear he joined the Akron Police Department and served until his retirement in 1992 from the Detective Division with 17 years service. Following the Akron Police Department, Russ worked at the University of Akron, Roadway Express, FedEx, Kenmore Construction and lastly he worked under his son, Rusty, at Carter Lumber, a job he loved.
Russ loved to garden. He dug out a portion of the driveway to put in another garden because one garden was just not enough. He grew everything: tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, onions, squash, zucchini, cucumbers and the best garlic in town. He also had herb gardens everywhere. Of course when harvest time came, guess who was canning the produce? He kept us supplied in fruit and vegetables for the whole winter including sharing with the kids and neighbors. He was awarded by the City of Akron, Beautification Awards for at least 10 years.
Russ loved baseball and his Cleveland Indians. He made several trips with his son to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. One would often find him sitting in his chair working on stats and talking with Rusty about how Cleveland would win the World Series. He also loved his Browns (fervently waiting for that Super Bowl). He was so excited that the Cavs won the basketball trophy only to not win again the following years. Every Sunday during football season he and Rusty would make their picks and bet who would win the games. Oh, how he loved “his girl” Shannon. One of his fondest memories was watching her sing karaoke at the President’s Lounge. He told me she just “sparkled” and she always did, ALWAYS! He must have told me that story a hundred times. His grandchildren were the “apples of his eyes.” He was so proud of them. His favorite memories of them was when they asked him to be their “Hero” for Hero’s day at their school which honored our Veterans. He could not believe they thought of him as their “Hero.” He was my hero too!
Russ was preceded in death by his father, mother, brother, Jimmy and our little child born too soon. We are confident he is with them now, free from the bondage of cancer that plagued him for almost 18 years. He fought the good fight, lost the battle but he won the war! Russ is survived by his wife Linda D. (Simmons) Murphy; daughter and son-in-law, Shannon (Mike) Zamecnik; son and daughter-in-law, Russell (Michelle) Murphy III; grandson Aidan Shea Roach, granddaughter Avery Evelyn Alyse Roach; step grandchildren, Frank Zamecnik and Jacob (Katie) Miller. He is also survived by his Thursday night euchre buddies, Ron Monroe, Don Fisher, and Kenny Fisher. Now they won’t have anyone from whom they can “steal the deal.” He also leaves behind many loved aunts, uncles and cousins who will mourn losing him. A good man, gone to soon. Our family would like to thank the staff of Hospice of Summa who took such excellent care of him this past week. They “loved him home.”
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital stjude.org in his name.
Family and friends may call on Friday, February 21, 2020 at Newcomer Funeral Home, 131 N. Canton Rd., Akron, OH from 11am-3pm with a service at 3pm.
Inurnment will take place at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery at a later date.