Murphy, a Beverly resident, led the department's Office of Fire Investigations. He was a member of St. Barnabas Parish and is survived by his wife of 31 years, Sarah, and their three children — Clare, John and William.
Murphy's son Will is a captain on the Caravan's water polo team, and Murphy suffered a suspected heart attack in a father-son water polo match on Sunday at the school at 6410 S Dante Ave. in Woodawn, said Dan LaCount, Mount Carmel's athletic director.
"I knew him as a father. He was a great dad," LaCount said Monday.
Our condolences to the family of CFD Commanding Fire Marshal DDC Michael Murphy, OFI who passed away off-duty.... https://t.co/tKbcFDfSkA— EMWQ Fund (@EMWQFund) May 8, 2017
"All the kids on the water polo team knew him, and he was super encouraging," he said. "It's a tremendous loss for their family, and we respect their time to be together."
Murphy joined the fire department in October 1996. He was named the commanding fire marshal in February 2015 — a position tasked with determining the cause of structure and vehicle fires in the city.
Murphy was also the catalyst for an ordinance that requires the victims of vehicle fires to report such fires before any insurance claims are made. The new law has been credited for a decrease in fraudulent insurance claims involving automobile fires, said Larry Langford, a fire department spokesman.
Before joining the fire department, Murphy served as a physics teacher at St. Rita High School in Ashburn. He also coached cross country there in the early 1990s, according to a spokesman from the all-boys Catholic school.
Services for Chief Michael Murphy visitation 5/11/17 St Barnabas 330-9p— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) May 9, 2017
funeral 5/12/17 1030 am St Barnabas 10134 Longwood Drive
The Ende, Menzer, Walsh & Quinn Retirees', Widows' and Children’s Assistance Fund will provide financial assistance to Murphy's children, said Bill Sullivan, who works for the group dedicated to widows and orphans of Chicago Fire Department personnel.
Visitation will be held from 3:30-9 p.m. Thursday at St. Barnabas Church, 10134 S. Longwood Drive. A funeral Mass for relatives and friends will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Barnabas.