Dean “Murph” Murphy, 96, of Jefferson City, passed away Thursday, December 20, 2018.
He was born in 1922 the son of Curtis and Gladys (Stevens) Murphy and raised in Nebraska. Murph was a graduate of Jackson High School in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1940. Murph served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He received a B.S. degree from the University of Nebraska (1947-1949) and a M.A. degree from the University of Missouri (1951).
He was united in marriage to Bette Roxanne Cochrane of Lincoln, NE in 1944. They celebrated 66 years together.
Murph was a part-time employee of Nebraska Department of Conservation 1947-1949. He was employed in 1951 as a Deer Research Biologist by the Missouri Department of Conservation in Columbia. He worked on nearly all phases of biology and management of white tail deer, with special interest in disease, nutrition, and range analysis. He was promoted to Superintendent of Game Management in 1969, became Assistant Chief of the Wildlife Division in 1971, and Chief of the Wildlife Division in 1977.
He was a charter member of the North Central Section and Missouri Wildlife chapter. He served as Treasurer and as President of both Section and Chapter. He was on numerous committees of both Section and Chapter and served on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Wildlife Management.
Murph was a devoted tennis player and played daily for many, many years. He played his final game at the age of 86.
Murph amassed a large collection of antique Made in Missouri Fishing Lures. This collection he donated to the Missouri Conservation Commission for display at the Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City and several other CC Stations around Missouri. Murph researched, wrote, and published two editions of a book called “Fishing Tackle Made in Missouri.”
Murph’s accomplishments included: TWS Nominating Committee 1977-1978; Leopold Award Committee 1980; Chairman Leopold Committee 1981; Missouri Flyway Council 1977-1984, Chairman 1977; Chairman Planning Committee 1980-1984; Scorer for Boone and Crocket Club 1953-1984; Chairman of Judges 1983 for Boone and Crocket Club Competition; Co-Founder of Show-Me-Big Bucks Club; received Conservationist of the Year Award from the Missouri Conservation Federation in 1973; received the Missouri Chapter of Wildlife Society E Sydney Stephen Award 1994; life member of the Missouri Conservation Federation; and was a founder of the Conservation Employee Retirees.
Murph and Bette were members of Countrysiders Social group for 50 years. He was a member of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club and a member of the River City Collectors Club.
Murph is survived by a daughter, Coleen Weichmann (Mike) of Carson City, NV; son, Dennis Murphy (Verna) of Bosworth, MO; a daughter, Cathleen Murphy of Jefferson City; a sister, Darlene Houdasheldt of Fort Collins, CO; a granddaughter, Lara McClure (Bill) of Jefferson City; two grandsons, Derek Sigler (Jodi) of St. Louis, MO; Scott Murphy (Ashley) of Carrollton, MO; and eight great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a grandson, Michael Murphy.
Visitation will be 1-3 p.m. Saturday, January 5, 2019, at Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home in Jefferson City.
Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Those wishing to send condolences to the family may do so at the www.dulletrimble.com website.
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