Deer 2

Thomas Arthur Murphy

July 26, 1934 ~ June 21, 2022 (age 87)


A memorial will take place Sunday, July 17th from 1-3 P.M. at Deer Park Golf Course, located at 838 Golf Course Road, Deer Lodge, MT 59722. A light lunch will be provided. All are welcome to join.

Thomas Arthur Murphy, aged 88, died at Touchmark in Helena Montana on June 21, 2022.

Tom was born on July 26th , 1934 in Deer Lodge, Montana to Arthur and Grace Murphy. The family lived in Helmville until 1945 when they moved to Deer Lodge Tom participated in basketball, football and track while in high school. After high school, he worked on the Milwaukee Road as a fireman until he was drafted into the Army in 1953. He served in Whittier, Alaska as a marine engine and repair specialist aboard search and recovery vessels before being honorably discharged in 1955. He returned to Montana, working for Anaconda Copper and marrying Shirlee Bennett. In 1956, Tom and Shirlee attended Montana State College, where he received a bachelor's degree in industrial arts in 1961.

During that time, Tom and Shirlee welcomed their only daughter, Kathy Lynn into the world. Tom taught industrial arts in Matlock, Washington for two years before hiring on to the Bureau of Reclamation in Huron, Dakota. In 1964 he became a hunting and fishing guide on the Salmon River at Mackay Bar. In 1965, Tom and Shirlee divorced, remaining lifelong friends. Tom then went to work as manager at Bending Lake Lodge in Ontario, Canada, a hunting and fishing outfitter. In the summer, Tom was responsible for maintenance and operation activities, and occasionally acted as a hunting and fishing guide. Because there were no roads into the lodge, Tom would also haul fuel into the lodge during the winter across the frozen lakes using snowmobiles and a Bombardier during the winter As a consequence, he was a proficient snowmobiler and continued to ride until his vision became too poor.

He later returned to Deer Lodge to help his mother care for his terminally ill brother, Eddie. During that time, Tom acted as a substitute teacher and later hired on as a custodian for Powell County at the courthouse where he would snowmobile into the mountains to find the perfect courthouse Christmas tree. In 2015 he moved to East Helena to be near his only child, daughter Kathy.

Tom passed away peacefully of natural causes. He will be remembered by those around him as a kind and considerate man with a mischievous streak, and someone who was always ready to lend a hand or accept a challenge, whether it was solving a crossword puzzle or fixing an engine. His daughter will remember him as a terrible speller and great drawer of stick figures. He enjoyed golfing and participated in several Montana State Senior Golf tournaments. He also enjoyed reading and woodworking.

Tom is survived by his daughter, Kathy Moore and her husband Glen Rubottom, his grandchildren Thomas (Corinne) Moore, Dale Moore, Ben Rubottom and Nicole Rubottom, and by two great- granddaughters, Elaina and Freya, all of Helena, Montana. He is also survived by many cousins and friends, including his best friend since 5 th grade, John Thompson of Deer Lodge, Montana. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Art and Grace, and by his brother Edward.

A celebration of Tom’s life will be held at a later date in Deer Lodge, Montana. Condolences may be sent to Kathy Moore and family at P.O. Box 1818, East Helena, MT 59635. In place of a memorial, please consider a donation to Kohrs Memorial Library, the Deer Park Golf Course or your local food bank.

A special thank you is owed to the wonderful staff at Touchmark. Their kindness and compassion is greatly appreciated. We would also like to acknowledge the amazing medical and administrative staff of the Fort Harrison veteran’s hospital. Their professional and compassionate care made all the difference.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Arthur Murphy, please visit our floral store.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Thomas

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