Joseph F. Murphy


Joseph F. Murphy, 83, of Bettendorf, but for 82 years a resident of Moline, Ill., died peacefully Sept. 13, 2010, with his wife of 54 years, Bernadette Niebur Murphy, and his four children at his side. 

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial for Joe will be 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Bettendorf. Visitation will be held at church on Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. where a prayer service will be offered at 4p.m. Honoring his wishes, cremation rites have been accorded. Inurnment was held privately at National Cemetery, Rock Island Arsenal. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Genesis Hospice, 2535 Maplecrest Road, Suite 4, Bettendorf, Iowa 52722; The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research; or Alleman High School

Joe was born Dec. 29, 1926, in Moline to Joseph Edwin and Martha Worden Murphy. In 1956 he married Bernadette Niebur. Joe was a veteran of the U.S. Army. 

He was a graduate of Sacred Heart grade school, Moline High School (class of 1945; served as senior class president) and St. Ambrose College (class of 1949). While at Moline High School, Joe distinguished himself as the “best second-string quarterback” in the school’s history.


His interest and participation in athletics was a lifelong passion and included years of officiating football and basketball. He was an avid golfer and a member of the Arsenal Golf Club where he notably had a hole in one. 

Every event he attended, in every part of the world, presented an opportunity for Joe to make new friends. Once acquainted, he was genuinely interested to learn about their lives and activities. This effortless ability to meet people and make new friends was his energy and life blood. His concern for the well-being of others has touched countless lives. Throughout his life, Joe’s greatest joys came from time spent with family and friends; he truly never met a stranger. His wide Irish smile and bright blue eyes were a welcome sight that will be greatly missed. 

Joe’s career included 25 years with Deere & Co. and more than 20 years with Blackhawk Metal Products in Davenport. Later he founded Joseph F. Murphy, Inc., a company that created and manufactured John Deere memorabilia.

Additionally, he served at various times on the boards of Mercy Hospital in Davenport, the Moline Public Library, the former Marycrest College, the YMCA and First America Bank – Quad Cities. He was an active member of the Rod and Gun Club.

He is survived by his wife and children: two daughters, Marty Lassen, Denver, Colo., and Molly McNichols, Asheville, N.C.; two sons, Tom Murphy and Lisa Romero Murphy, Hudson, Ohio; John and Jane McNeilly Murphy, Overland Park, Kan.; and eight grandchildren – Joseph and Sarah Lassen, Joe and Charlie Murphy, Mia and Meg Murphy, James and Tom McNichols and countless friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother James and sister Martha.

Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed by visiting Joe’s obituary at


Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted on