McAuley Alumnae Blog

McAuley High School, Toledo, Ohio

Father of Linda Murphy Savercool ’79 passed away:

Posted by mcauleyhighschool on January 17, 2021

Obituary for John Anthony Murphy Sr.

John Anthony “Jack” Murphy’s life began in Barberton, Ohio on August 6, 1932, and ended peacefully on January 9, 2021, at the age of 88, in Toledo, Ohio.

As a young Irish Catholic boy, Jack Murphy developed a love of people and competition, which made for a life full of family and friends. In fact, Jack spent many a day with his two brothers, Pat and Bernie, thinking about having a scrum with the youth of Akron’s north hill, and eventually bringing home a broken nose. Over the years, it was to be broken at least three more times, hence the famous “Murphy nose.”

Everything and anything purple meant Barberton Magic to him, and it’s a guarantee that if Jack saw you wearing purple, it was sure to elicit a “Go Magic”!! Pat (Elaine) and Bernie (Jo) predecease Jack, but his sister Rosalie Danko (who did not involve herself in the scrums with her brothers), along with husband Bob, continue to call Barberton home.

Jack traveled State Route 224 to Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio in 1950 where he would become a Student Prince, play football, and meet the love of his life, Carol Company. Carol passed away in early 2020, and so Jack will now meet her daily for cocktail hour at 4 PM for eternity.

He honorably served his country during the Korean War, and recently participated in the Honor Flight to Washington DC. Jack was so pleased to be included in this group. Although he did not like to advertise this, Jack received his Master’s degree from rival Bowling Green State University in 1959.

However, clearly his heart was with the Toledo Rockets where he would spend 18 years coaching in some capacity for the football program. He started as the defensive line coach, became the defensive coordinator and later the Head Coach. Winning was everything. Win, and the family would sit in the third pew on the right at Gesu 9AM Mass. Lose, sit in the back at St. Ann’s for 9:30 Mass. The life of a football coach could be consuming, yet exciting. Game film, fresh from the developer was often delivered to the house between 1 and 3 AM. He left Toledo for one year to be the Head Coach at Heidelberg and quickly returned to become the Head Coach at Toledo.

Jack is survived by four children: Karen Runyon, John (Jennifer), Linda Savercool (Tim) and Tim (Ann). Timothy David Murphy was considered the first touchdown of the 1971 Rocket season, so we celebrate TD Murphy’s 50th birthday this year along with the great Toledo Rocket Football Team of 35-0. Jack’s loss is deeply felt by his ten grandchildren: Matthew Runyon, Maggie Murphy, Karen Murphy, Jack Murphy, Megan (Tyler) Dodds, Michelle (Jack) McIntyre, Danny (Karlee)Yodzis, Leah Yodzis, Sam Murphy, Ryan Murphy and one great grandchild, Maeve McIntyre, born three weeks ago. He was preceded in death by one grandchild, Nathaniel Murphy. Many photos depict Jack lovingly spending time with his grandchildren. Jack’s numerous nieces and nephews will miss his warm humor at family gatherings.

But this isn’t the only family – his players, fellow coaches, UT administrators and sports writers consider him part of their family, as well. Jack considered coaching to be so much more than just playing a game. It gave him immense pleasure to be given the opportunity to mold men, academically and in their careers.

He earned many awards during his football years: Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year, Ohio College Coach of the Year, most valuable student athlete of the year at Heidelberg, and All-Ohio Conference athlete of the year, to name a few. He was inducted into the Barberton High School Hall of Fame in 1983, the Heidelberg Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Varsity T Hall of Fame in 1997.

In addition to being a successful coach – he was also an accomplished businessman with Seaway Beverage and Manager of Public and Governmental Affairs of Envirosafe Services of Ohio, Inc., in Oregon. Jack was adept at creating relationships, and many people have noted his honor, humility, honesty, thoughtfulness, and love.

He was involved with multiple community organizations including serving as Board of Directors for Easter Seal Society of NWO, Kiwanis Club, Oregon Schools Foundation Board and as well as serving as past President of the National Football Hall of Fame- Toledo chapter and President of the Oregon Development Foundation. At the request of fellow coach and close friend Carty Finkbeiner, Jack served on the TARTA board of Directors and was an advocate for paratransit services. In addition, Jack was the district chairman for the NCAA Rules Committee and is a past president of the Toledo Chapter of the Collegiate National Football Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Heidelberg College Fellows and has worked as a volunteer for various Heidelberg College fund raising drives. He also worked as a volunteer in the Toledo area for The Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges.

Jack continued his competitive ways in retirement, as he and Carol enjoyed golf, and Jack liked to let us know how much money he won in his weekly poker game. They enjoyed weekly dinners with friends at local restaurants, but always came back to their favorite, Shawn’s Irish Tavern.

Jack loved being with his kids and grandkids at the lake, and sitting on the deck with Bud and Phyllis Schultz, lifelong friends from Tiffin. He and Carol spent every summer in Port Clinton on the beach at the summer cottage, where he continued his love of coaching while teaching grandkids to catch a football, play euchre, fish, and enjoy family, friends and life.

He leaves a big hole in many hearts, but great memories for all of us.

The family would like to thank the staff at Parkcliffe Alzheimer’s Community for the considerate care they provided Jack during this last year.

Please join the family for a Covid-safe Memorial Tailgate to celebrate the life of Jack and begin the 50-year anniversary celebration of the Toledo 35-0 team. There will be a drive-through visitation in front of the rocket at the Glass Bowl Stadium, University of Toledo, Lot 10 this Saturday, January 23, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

We would like to continue Jack’s dedication to scholar athletes and support the Jack and Carol Murphy Athletic Scholarship Fund. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to their fund: www.UTRockets.com/Murphy.

The Memorial Tailgate will be followed by a 1:00 p.m. Funeral Mass at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Church, 4201 Heatherdowns Blvd. Toledo, OH 43614. Please view and sign our online “guest registry” at CoyleFuneralHome.com

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