Memorabilia of Bill Murphy

There was a table filled with memorabilia about Bill Murphy at his celebration of life. (Photo by Dave Facinoli)

It was a perfect place to hold a celebration of life for Bill Murphy because the Vienna Post 180 American Legion Hall on Center Street was at one time kind of his second home.

Family, friends and dozens overall gathered on the second floor of the Legion hall the evening of Jan. 11 to remember Murphy, who died Jan. 3. Later they gathered downstairs at the bar to continue stories.

The popular Murphy was 80 and touched the lives of hundreds during his many years involved in various manners of many local youth sports in Vienna, wearing numerous hats. He was a Vienna Little League baseball coach and administrator for more than 30 years and was involved in Vienna Youth, Inc. football. In recent years, Murphy was the American Legion District 17 commissioner.

His Little League teams won multiple championships, including all-star titles.

He also was an announcer for many local games, from Little League to Legion, and even Madison High baseball contests. At one point, Murphy was the club manager of the Post 180 Legion Hall.

The celebration of life included many photos of Murphy,  known as “Big Murph”, past and present and included slide shows, and some of his memorabilia. Many spoke to share stories about Murphy and talk about his life and history.

Murphy’s son Mark thanked the many on hand and talked about how his father wouldn’t want people to be sad about his passing, wanting them to enjoy the moment of his celebration.

Jamie Donnelly gave a history about various parts of Murphy’s early life. Among other things, Madison High School baseball coach Mark Gjormand talked about Murphy’s appealing announcing voice and skills and about the many things he did for Vienna sports.

Some other speakers were longtime local youth football coach and personality Mark Meana, Vienna baseball star Chris Burr and District 17 baseball managers Jim Glassman and Al Vaxmonsky. The Legion managers talked about how Murphy was proud and excited about how he helped the resurgence of the District 17 league, expected to field nine teams this coming summer, after having just five only a few seasons ago.

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