Joe Murphy

  • Born: May 12, 1927
  • Died: May 10, 2016
  • Location: Centerville, Iowa

Lange Funeral Home & Crematory LLC

1900 South 18th Street
Centerville, IA 52544
Tel. (641) 856-2000

Tribute & Message From The Family

Joe Murphy, age 88, of Centerville, Iowa passed away, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at Golden Age Care Center in Centerville.

He was born on May 12, 1927 in Exira, Iowa, the son of Thomas and Frances (Voss) Murphy. Joe graduated from Exira High School at the age of sixteen.

Joe was united in marriage to Mary Louise Graham on September 24, 1949 in Hiawatha, Kansas. To this union of marriage three children were born, Patric, Michael, and Pamela. Mary passed away on March 14, 2013.

In his early adult life Joe farmed in Adair County, Iowa and also did construction for a period of time. In 1960, Joe accepted a position as a park ranger with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. His first assignment was at Pammel State Park in Winterset, Iowa. Later, he and his family moved to Lake Darling State Park in Brighton, Iowa followed by Lake of Three Fires State Park in Bedford, Iowa. In 1970, Joe took the position as park ranger at Honey Creek State Park near Moravia, Iowa, where he worked until his retirement from the park service in 1986.

Joe then kept busy creating woodworking items for Mary's shop and doing various other jobs around Centerville. Joe and Mary decided that they were ready to retire, and relocated to Branson, Missouri. Upon relocating, he did not accept retirement, and took a position with the Compton Ridge Campground where he worked for the next twelve years. He subsequently worked at Silver Dollar City for five years. Throughout their time as residents in Branson, Missouri, Joe and Mary owned and operated the Hummingbird's Nest Bed and Breakfast.

In 2006, Joe accepted retirement and the couple returned to Centerville. After returning, he attended the First Baptist Church with Mary, volunteered at the New Hope Counseling Center and enjoyed his free time.

Joe was a very devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. His family was very special and treasured by him. Joe and Mary loved to host family gatherings and spend times with loves ones. Joe had many hobbies throughout his life including; woodworking, gardening, bird watching, traveling, hosting parties, playing cards, and sharing devotion to God. He always had to time to stop and share a story with people as he came across them.

Joe is survived by three children, Patric (Margaret) Murphy of Des Moines, Iowa, Michael (Sherry) Murphy of Centerville, Iowa, and Pamela (Gary) Messersmith of Centerville, Iowa; eight grandchildren, Paula (Mark) Adams, Jason (Kelly) Murphy, Sean (Theresa) Murphy, Jesseca (Ron) DeVore, Jennifer (Brandon) Frampton, Sara (Jason Winn) Murphy, JT (Heather) Murphy, and Adam Messersmith; thirteen great grandchildren, Franchesca DeVore, Madison Murphy, Jackson Adams, Dakota DeVore, Katie Murphy, Caleb Murphy, Karlie Murphy, Brenna Murphy, Zachary Murphy, Cora Frampton, Thomas Murphy, William Frampton, and Luke Murphy; two sisters, Maryellen Miller of Atlantic, Iowa, and Anne (Dick) Peterson of Anita, Iowa; a sister-in-law, Carol Correll of Webster Grove, Missouri; and a multitude of other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary; two sisters, Martha Hoffman and Carolyn Fairfield; and four brother-in-laws, LeRoy Hoffman, R.J. (Jack) Correll, Melvin Fairfield, and Charles Miller.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held 10 AM, Saturday, May 14, 2016 at the First Baptist Church in Centerville with Pastor Lloyd Johnston officiating. A fellowship gathering will immediately follow at the First Baptist Church. An inurnment will take place in the Iconium Cemetery at 2 PM. A visitation will be held on Friday, May 13, 2016 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory from 4 PM-8 PM, with the family present from 6-8 PM. Memorials have been established to either the Rathbun Bird Club, HCI (formerly known as Hospice of Central Iowa), the Iconium United Methodist Church, or the First Baptist Church in Centerville and may be mailed to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544. Condolences may be shared online at


Condolence & Memory Journal

Joe and Mary were very kind. I worked for them when they had the Bed & Breakfast. I took a class with mary told her I loved the house, and she offered me a job. Loved having lunch in the kitchen. My prayers for you in youre time of loss, remember all the happy memories. Prov 3:5,6 Ruth Peel

Posted by Ruth Peel - Newton, KS - Friend   July 10, 2016

Pam and family
My thoughts and prayers have been with you during Joe's time in the care center and of now. Joe and Mary were so good to the folks and Midge, just as your Grandmother and Grandfather were. Do keep in touch and I am thinking of you at this time.

Posted by Eleanor Childs - Mesa, AZ - Family   May 18, 2016


For Pam and family,
My deepest condolences on the death of your Dad.
He always had such a cheerful, jolly smile.
Prayers of peace for your hearts.
Sheila Mattly

Posted by Sheila Mattly - Corydon, IA - Coworker   May 13, 2016

So sorry to hear this news. Your folks were always so good to Mom & our family. Will not be able to attend the services or visitation but you will all be in our thoughts and prayers this week and in the time to come. Love..Cynthia & all

Posted by Cynthia Campbell - IA - Family   May 12, 2016

I've known Joe a long time, from my time at the Corps and as a birdwatcher. My kids didn't have any grandfather and I think they considered their friends' grandfathers as surrogates. Thank you for sharing Joe in that way. He will be missed.

Posted by Deb Egeland - Friend   May 11, 2016