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Memories & Candles

“He was so very special to three generations of our family, our physician, mentor and friend. He was brilliant but so modest that we didn't realize...Read More »
1 of 1 | Posted by: roselind steele - mt. ulla, NC


Cramerton DR. THOMAS LYNCH MURPHY, SR. Dr. Thomas "Lynch" Murphy, Sr. (92) died on March 10, 2012 in Cramerton, North Carolina. Born in Salisbury, North Carolina on February 13, 1920, he was the son of Margarette Lynch Murphy of Chapel Hill, NC, and Charles Lee Murphy of Salisbury, NC. Dr. Murphy practiced medicine in Salisbury, NC from 1954 until his retirement in 1986. He received his B.S. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1940, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Nu Fraternity and was the manager of the tennis team. He received his M.D. (cum laude) from Harvard Medical School in 1943. He did post-graduate training at Boston City Hospital's Thorndike Memorial Laboratory in Boston, Massachusetts; at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia; and Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. During his medical training, he published articles on his research in The New England Journal of Medicine and other medical journals and textbooks. He was on the clinical faculty of the School of Medicine of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1959 to 1986, rising from Clinical Assistant Professor to Clinical Associate Professor. Dr. Murphy helped organize and run the successful polio immunization program in Rowan County when the polio vaccine was first introduced. He also helped plan the first coronary care unit and introduced gastrointestinal endoscopy at Rowan Memorial Hospital Board-certified in internal medicine, Dr. Murphy was also one of the first board-certified gastroenterologists in North Carolina. He was a member of the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians. He also was a 50-year member of the North Carolina Medical Society, where he served as a member of the Executive Council; and a member of the Rowan County Medical Society, where he served as President. He was a member of the medical staff at Rowan Memorial Hospital throughout his career, and served there as Chief of Staff. He was a consultant at Davie County Hospital in Mocksville, NC, and at the Veterans' Hospital in Salisbury. He also served on the board of directors of the Medical Mutual Insurance Company of North Carolina. As a medical officer in the U.S. Navy in World War II, Dr. Murphy served on a submarine in the South Pacific and was also stationed in the Philippines. He later served during the Korean War at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland, where he was head of the Department of Gastroenterology, and was awarded the Korean Service Medal. Dr. Murphy was a long-time member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Salisbury. His love of the outdoors – camping and hiking - was begun in Scouting, and he was proud of being an Eagle Scout. He was interested in all aspects of photography and hunted for and photographed each variety of North Carolina wildflower. He also enjoyed furniture-making, tennis and fishing at the Outer Banks. Dr. Murphy was married to Virginia Bruton "Coco" McKenzie on June 10, 1945; she preceded him in death on May 7, 1982. Survivors include three children and spouses: son, Dr. Thomas Lynch Murphy, Jr. and daughter-in-law Nancy Clark Murphy of Gastonia, NC; daughter, Katharine Murphy Rawling of Las Vegas, NV; and son, Charles Whitehead Murphy and daughter-in-law Georgia Steadham Murphy of Tallahassee, FL. Other survivors are 6 grandchildren and spouses: Reverend Thomas Lynch Murphy and wife Amanda Brickhouse Murphy of Asheville, NC; Theodosia Dargan Murphy Gilmore and husband William Miller Gilmore of Raleigh, NC; Margaret Paige Rawling-Endicott and husband Curtis Rawling-Endicott of Los Angeles, CA; Zachary McKenzie Rawling of Las Vegas, NV; Elaina McKenzie Murphy and Marshall Benjamin Murphy of Tallahassee, FL. He is also survived by 5 great-grandchildren, William Daniel Gilmore, Theodosia Dargan Gilmore, Joseph Pierce Gilmore, Thomas Lynch Murphy and Charles Theodore Murphy. Also surviving is a sister-in-law, Margaret Hay McKenzie, and 9 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a son-in-law, John Reece Rawling. Also preceding him in death was a sister, Alice Wright Murphy Clegg; and two brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law; Benjamin Whitehead McKenzie and Dr. Edward Burt McKenzie and his wife Nancy Guy McKenzie. Dr. Murphy married Marie-Louise Clement, a native of California, on September 24, 1983. She preceded him in death on October 1, 2009. Dr. Murphy moved to Gastonia, NC in 2010. The family would like to thank the staff of Carillon Assisted Living in Cramerton, NC and Gaston Hospice. Memorials may be made to the Medical Foundation UNC School of Medicine, 880 MLK Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514, to Catawba College (Development Office) 2300 W. Innes St., Salisbury, NC 28144 or to any non-profit of choice. Funeral arrangements are with McLean Funeral Directors in Gastonia, NC; a private burial service for family was held in Salisbury, NC with Rev. Thomas Murphy and Rev. Jody Seymour officiating. Condolences may be sent to www.mcleanfuneral.com or to Dr. Tom Murphy, 1021 X-Ray Drive, Gastonia, NC 28054.

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700 South New Hope Road Gastonia, NC 28054
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