Longtime Arizona Legislator, Husband, and Father: Rick Murphy Dies at Age 50

Rick Murphy, who represented the areas around Glendale and Peoria in the Arizona Legislature from 2005 to 2014, passed away Thursday, leaving behind his wife, Penny Murphy, their five children, and many foster children. Born with hemophilia, he received a tainted blood transfusion as a child that led to hepatitis and finally liver disease, which ultimately took his life at age 50.

His widow, Penny Murphy, who was married to him for 22 years, told The Arizona Sun Times, “He was so deeply loved by his family and friends. He was a loving husband and father. He cared deeply for all of us. Shortly before he got so bad, he insisted on a quick trip to the beach with just the two of us, and I believe that was his way of saying he knew the end was near. There is so much I could say about him but there are not enough words to say how much I loved him. A part of me died with him that day. He will forever be in my heart.”

Rick Murphy served in the Arizona House from 2005 to 2010 and in the Arizona Senate from 2011 to 2014, representing LD-9 and LD-21 in the West Valley. He served on the Peoria Unified School District governing board from 2007 to 2010. His other main career was as a realtor, and he became a political consultant after leaving the legislature.

Longtime Arizona Senate staffer Galen Kimmick told The Sun Times that helping children was a big priority for Rick Murphy, including a passion for raising foster children. “His priorities were sound budgeting, education opportunities for all, and health care for foster children,” he said. “Every session he would push for more educational opportunities for foster kids and disabled children to expand their opportunities to an education that was best for them. He understood firsthand, as a foster parent, how important a stable and supportive education structure was for these kids. No matter how far he moved the ball on ESAs [Educational Savings Accounts], he always wanted to do a little more to provide education choice to everyone.”

Read the rest of the article at The Arizona Sun Times
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