By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Maurice J. "Mike" Murphy was a co-founder of Cincinnati's St. Patrick's Day parade, along with fellow Ancient Order of Hibernians R. Murray Fogarty and Big Jim Murphy.
On March 17, 1966, the founders trekked down Race Street with about 50 others to begin an annual Cincinnati tradition.
Two of his daughters remember the day clearly.
"He led the parade in his kilt and hat," said a daughter, Ann Schutte of Edgewood. Said daughter Patricia Roger Franklin of Symmes Township, "He was bigger than life - he was 6 feet, 5 inches and had a booming voice."
Mr. Murphy, a resident of Cahersiveen, Ireland, died of cancer Oct. 27 in County Kerry, Ireland. He was 77.
He was born in 1925 in Flint, Mich., and grew up in Michigan. He graduated in 1950 from Xavier University, where he had met his first wife, Alice Mary Rolfes.
Mr. Murphy began his own insurance agency, M&M Insurance Co., in Delhi.
In 1972, he took his first trip to Ireland with the Hibernians. After that trip, he began researching his Irish heritage. He visited Ireland 10 more times and found his great-grandparents' homestead in County Kerry. He purchased an acre of the homestead in 1977 and built a house.
Mr. Murphy retired in 1981 and moved to Ireland. Divorced from his first wife, he married Mary Casey in Ireland.
While in Ireland, Mr. Murphy created a database of the history of Irish familiesHe bequeathed his database to the National Library of Ireland.
Mr. Murphy was also a member the Queen City Rugby team.
Other survivors include a sister, Eileen Flanigan, of Dearborn, Mich.; three other daughters, Mary Gene Murphy of Allegheny, Ore., Eilis and Bridget Murphy of Ireland; four sons, Joseph and Michael Murphy of Covedale, Maurice and Jonathan Murphy of Ireland; nine grandchildren and one great-grandson. He was preceded in death by a brother, Bob.
A memorial service was held Saturday. Memorials: American Cancer Society, Northern Kentucky Unit, Nicholas Center, Suite A-2, 6612 Dixie Highway, Florence, KY 41042, or Mary Murphy, Spud Mor, Duchalla, the Glen Ballinskelligs, County Kerry, Ireland.
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