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Ronald E. Murphy, 80, of La Salle died June 7, 2019 in OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
Cremation rites have been accorded. A celebration of his life will be at Papa Murph’s Campground in Utica at the corner of Route 71 and 178 on June 29, 2019 from 1:00-5:00 PM. The Hurst Funeral Home in La Salle is assisting the family with arrangements.
Ron was born in Spring Valley on July 15, 1938 to Emmett and Helen (Konen) Murphy. He married Virginia Zaverl on September 27, 1958. Their attendants were Helen Kallner Wrona and Paul Murphy. Ron was raised by many aunts and uncles, his grandparents Bill and Marcellia Murphy, and his aunt and uncle Paul and Josephine Murphy of La Salle.
Ron served in the United States Regular Army 101st Airborne from 1955-1957. In addition to owning and operating Papa Murph’s Tavern and Campground for 41 years, he worked construction and at Maze Nail. He also owned a commercial minnow business, where he trucked and delivered from Ohio to New York.
Ron was an avid fisherman and belonged to several fishing lakes. He loved being with his family and friends. He had a keen eye for the cue ball and sponsored many tournaments where they won first place in the nationals in Las Vegas. He fished in many walleye tournaments, favored going to Alaska with his friend Jim Harmon. His favorite fishing spot was Fish N Fun in McNabb where he also served on the board of directors.
Ron is survived by his wife Virginia of La Salle; two sons Curt (Tina) Murphy of La Salle and Tom (Jill Mazzorana) Murphy of Peru; two daughters Cheryl Knoblouch of Oglesby and Carrie (Michael) Roebuck of Utica; grandchildren Zac and Toni (Kessel) Giertych of Flagstaff, AZ, Nathan and Clarissi Kessel of Fort Meyers, FL, Justin (Laura Smith) Murphy of Bureau, Malcolm, Zachary, and Zoe Roebuck of Utica; and two great grandsons Louie Giertych and J.J. Murphy.
He was preceded in death by one sister Patricia Eggers of Durham, NC and his Japanese Chin dog, Murphy.