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Obituary for Candler "Pat" Ambrose Murphey

Candler (Pat) Ambrose Murphey, Jr., passed away at the age of 92, on Thursday, June 8, 2017 following a short hospital stay. Still married to the love of his life, JoAnn Suter Murphey, they would have celebrated their 60th anniversary on July 11th.

Pat grew up in the City of Decatur when Atlanta was a suburb of Decatur (this is not a typo). He rode his bicycle to Atlanta to pick up the family’s mail and was witness, over time, to infrastructure additions of major thoroughfares linking Decatur to Atlanta and to small towns to the north. This witness gave him deep insight into the history of Decatur and its growth over the decades. He knew why roads had their names, the detailed history of Atlanta’s most prominent families, and the residents of most of the houses and businesses in the area, past and present.

A dedicated civic servant, Pat served on the Board of the Decatur Housing Authority, was a Decatur Rotarian, and a member of the Decatur Lions Club. After downsizing from the home that he built for the family on Pinetree Drive, he and JoAnn moved to the Towne Square Condominiums in downtown Decatur where he served for several years as the Chairman of the Board of the Homeowner’s Association.

He served on the Board at the Decatur DeKalb YMCA where he collaborated on the effort to bring soccer to the Decatur community, an initiative that has enjoyed lasting and exponential growth and changed the lives of young children across the area. He coached his children in soccer for over seven years, spring and fall, first his son and then his daughters, imparting values of friendly competition, sportsmanship, fairness, and teamwork.

Pat valued his friends and community, frequently meeting with high school friends for reunions and lunches and enjoying annual celebrations at Manuel’s Tavern until recent years. He was also a solid competitor on the tennis courts around town for many years, a passion that he imparted to his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Pat was a man dedicated to God and his church. He and JoAnn met and were married at Decatur Presbyterian Church and served together as youth group advisors. Pat was a Deacon and an Elder for many years. He was the Sunday School Superintendent and worked hard to ensure that DPC’s children were well-served and taught to love the Lord. He supported community needs by volunteering with the Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry and with the Decatur Presbyterian Sandwich Brigade, making sandwiches for homeless shelters.

Pat’s father, Candler Murphey, started Murphey Equipment Company, the family business that Pat joined following his military service, and would later own and operate. He supported his family and employees for more than 50 years through this business as a manufacturer’s representative in the water treatment industry.

Pat was a Lieutenant in the US Navy during World War II, stationed in the Pacific theater as a Gunnery Officer, among other roles. Following WWII, he continued to serve his country through the Naval Reserves and his daughter Nancy remembers visiting the Officer’s Club (now Peachtree DeKalb Airport) with him for meals and events.

Prior to his military service, Pat married Betty Betts (deceased). They had two children, Nancy and Mike (deceased). He later married JoAnn Suter, also a Decatur native, and they had three children, Bill, Laura (Lynn), and Caroline (William). In total, Pat had five children, six grandchildren (Warren (Tara), Josh (Megan), Sean, Joe, Will, and Jaylen), and four great-grandchildren (Warren, Candler, Lily, and Mason). He spent an inordinate amount of time attending meetings, games, recitals, and plays, and relished every moment with his family. He was fortunate to have numerous nieces and nephews (many who referred to him as “Hunky Pat”) who loved him dearly and he loved them in return.

Pat loved playing cards, especially Liverpool Rummy, and games, and was a formidable competitor. He had a unique strategy that would usually leave him with the championship while aggravating his relatives.

He had an innate curiosity about other cultures and traveled with JoAnn to destinations including England, France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, the Caribbean, and many states across the country.

Pat will be missed by his family and friends for his wisdom, perspective, strength and resiliency, his unfailing good humor and wit, and his limitless generosity.
We invite friends and family to celebrate Pat’s life:

• Decatur Presbyterian Church (205 Sycamore Street, Decatur, GA 30030)
• Saturday, June 17, 2017
• 1:00 PM with reception to follow
• Please be aware that the church is under renovation and parking may be challenging.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Decatur Presbyterian Church or to the Decatur Presbyterian Children’s Community (DPCC) Scholarship Program.


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