Obituary: Stephen Liam Murphy | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Stephen Liam Murphy 

Published April 7, 2017 at 5:30 a.m. | Updated April 7, 2017 at 9:57 a.m.

Stephen Liam Murphy, 73, of Burlington VT died on Saturday, April 1 in Burlington after a short illness.

Steve was born in La Jolla California, the son of Dr. Donal G. and Katherine Creamer Murphy. He was a 1962 graduate of Canterbury School in Milford CT and attended Wesleyan University and Art Center College in Pasadena, CA. He was married in 1986 to Deena Czernel Murphy of Norwalk CT.

Steve was, above all, a peerless father and husband. He had a great and loyal heart and was fiercely protective of those he loved. He was a storyteller with an ear toward the telling detail and a comic punch, and was also a great listener with an appreciation of human foibles.

He loved boats and salt water --- and never missed a chance to be near the ocean. He couldn’t walk past a dog without a greeting. A procession of dogs bounded through Steve’s life, notably Sheeba, Murphy, Zephyr and the impossible Zeke.

Steve was a captain of his High School football team and played semi-professional football in the U.S. Army. Although he loved playing sports in his youth, his enjoyment of sports reached its height when watching his son, Liam, as he played soccer, baseball, football and lacrosse in youth sports and on through college.

While Steve never became the published writer he hoped he would, his work as a proofreader and copy editor helped to satisfy the need for grammatical and stylistic precision. His personal letters, emails and texts were treasures, and he gleefully pointed out typographical errors, even in his beloved New York Times. He kept a pile of books on his bed table and shared recommendations readily with friends.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Deena Czernel Murphy; son, Liam Henry Murphy of Mountain View, CA and sister, Catriona Essley of Indianola, WA. He was predeceased by brothers Sean and Kevin and sister Sheila Distan Murphy.

A celebration of his life will be held later in the spring. Those who wish may contribute to King Street Center in Burlington.

Arrangements are in the care of the Cremation Society of Chittenden County, a division of the Ready Family, 261 Shelburne Road, Burlington. To send online condolences, please visit

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