Monday, March 31, 2008

PBA RPPT Honors Chief John C. Murphy

On March 26, 2008, the Council of the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section, of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, unanimously adopted a Memorial Resolution honoring John C. Murphy, the late, former Chief of the Inheritance Tax Division, of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

The Memorial Resolution was sent to John's family -- his wife and two sons.

This is the text of the Memorial Resolution:

The Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of
Pennsylvania Bar Association

Recognizing the Services of John C. Murphy

, John C. Murphy, former Chief of the Inheritance Tax Division of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, over the course of his career served the citizens of Pennsylvania, as well its practitioners, by encouraging a culture at the Department of Revenue of cooperation with practitioners across the Commonwealth;

Mr. Murphy made himself available to bar associations and practitioners across the Commonwealth, and was generous with his time and his advice;

Mr. Murphy leaves a legacy of public service and integrity, and will be greatly missed, and the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association is deeply indebted to him for his efforts, his service and advice;

, the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association resolves formally to express its sincere appreciation on behalf of the membership to Mr. Murphy's family, and its deepest condolences, through this Resolution.

Attest: David E. Schwager, Chair
of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
of the Pennsylvania Bar Association
I have been an active member of this Section for thirty years. I cannot recall any such memorial resolution so adopted by the Section for a public official during that time.

Thus, this Memorial Resolution is an extraordinary gesture of esteem and affection for a fine gentleman and a recognized leader, who headed a group of State workers within the PA Department of Revenue charged with collecting a sensitive tax -- Pennsylvania's inheritance tax.

John retired on June 15, 2007, but, sadly, did not live long afterwards. He died on December 12, 2007.
See: PA EE&F Law Blog posting "PA Inh Tax Div Chief Murphy Retired" (12/04/07).

John's shoes, as Chief, were filled last week by his long-time friend and co-worker, J. Paul Dibert.
See: PA EE&F Law Blog posting "Dibert Appointed Chief of PA Inheritance Tax Division" (03/27/08).

John will be remembered by many attorneys with respect and fondness, not only for his accomplishments, but also -- and perhaps more so -- for his character. Through both, he indeed "served the citizens of Pennsylvania" well.

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
--Theodore Roosevelt

"Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone's task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it."
--Viktor Frankl

"Act as if what you do makes a difference.
It does."

--William James

Update: 04/01/08:

John's wife, "Enie", responded to the PBA RPPT Section's action, and then this posting, in an email message sent to me on March 31, 2008.

She gave me permission to post her reply, as a public thanks for all the sentiments expressed about John and for his family:

Words can't describe how we felt when we received this in the mail . . . and then to see it online . . . what a wonderful tribute . . . and how comforting to us. John surely deserved this though; I must agree. We couldn't be prouder.

John's life/work agenda was lead by his heart. I often would ask him why he didn't get upset with people and he would always reply "that's not the side of the mountain I choose to die on."

Our John certainly did make the right choices. And how this is evidenced by the tremendous support we have received from so many many people. I have yet to complete the thank you's.

Perhaps you can post the enclosed picture. It is a picture I look at often! It speaks a thousand words . . . and more! I am positive it is how John would want us to remember him. It was taken on his last day of work.

Thank you all!

Enie, Pat and Tim . . . with John in our hearts forever!