Michael Morgan Murphy
Michael Morgan Murphy
June 18, 1938-

July 8, 2021

Mike Murphy was born in Eddyville, Iowa, on June 18, 1938, the oldest child of Leon and Gladys Murphy. 

During his childhood he traveled often as his family moved between Army assignments, exposing “Mickey” to a variety of cultures and places. 

In Okinawa, Japan, he played high school basketball, and at Monterey High School he wrote for the campus paper and graduated at the top of his class. 

After graduation Mike went to Frankfurt, Germany, to rejoin his parents and his younger siblings Judy, Tim, and Billy.

While overseas he joined the Frankfurt Playhouse theater group, where he met Christa (Christine) Horn, and they married in 1960.

Mike and Christine returned to the US, settling in the San Francisco Bay Area and bought a house in Santa Clara, CA, where they had a daughter, Belinda, and a son, Kevin, before moving to the growing community of Almaden in San Jose, CA.

Mike began his career at Lockheed, becoming one of Silicon Valley’s pioneers in the new field of computer programming, and graduated from San Jose State University with a Business degree. 

His skills and personality gained him an executive position with Castle & Cook, then at Source EDP in San Francisco. He also invested in real estate and earned his broker’s license, and opened a mortgage company.

Over the years, he traveled to Hawaii, Mexico, Central America and Europe and took many family trips boating, fishing, snow and water skiing. An avid reader, Mike collected an extensive library of over 20,000 books on a diverse variety of topics. He also learned to play the piano, guitar and saxophone and collected rare and unique instruments.

After twenty years of marriage, Mike and Christine divorced, and Mike sold his properties in Silicon Valley and moved to San Diego CA, fulfilling a lifelong dream to live on a boat. 

After several years on his 45-foot Hunter motor yacht, Mike moved back to dry land. In 2002, he moved to Reno, NV, to spend time with Belinda’s children, Morganne and Ryan, Mike’s grandchildren.

In 2012, Mike moved to Lovelock, NV, and he became active in the Lions Club.

In 2015 he opened Treasures Bookstore in the old Soroptimist building, housing his vast book collection, which quickly became a fixture of the community. 

Sadly, in November 2019 an arson-started fire at a neighboring building spread to Treasures, destroying the bookstore and the collection of a lifetime. Mike then went to live with Kevin in Reno at the start of 2020.

After weathering the pandemic Mike celebrated his 83rd birthday and went on a family vacation to Montana, seeing the splendor of Glacier National Park by boat before returning home to Reno.

A week later, on Thursday, July 8th, he suffered a fatal heart attack at home and passed quickly.

Mike is survived by his sister Judy Nelson, his brother Tim Murphy, his daughter Dr. Belinda Murphy-Denmark, his son Kevin Murphy, his grandchildren Morganne Murphy and Ryan Murphy, and his beloved cat Checkers.

Mike’s ashes will be scattered in San Diego Bay in a private family service, one last boat voyage on the ocean he loved. He will be remembered best for his great sense of humor, knowledge of and interest in diverse topics, as well as his love of literature and music.

A Celebration of Life memorial will be held on August 21 from 2-5 pm at the Lovelock Depot near the former site of Treasures Bookstore, and Mike will also have a memorial in Alameda CA on July 23.  Mike’s family asks, in lieu of flowers, for donations in Mike’s name to the Pershing County Library, as testament to his lifelong love of books.