Terence J. Murphy died June 27 of cancer in Florida. He was 66. Terry, to his family and many friends, will be remembered as a man of many facets; generous, outgoing, free-spirited and adventurous -- a pilot, sailor, war hero, designer and builder, writer and avid world traveler -- and, most importantly, a devoted son, husband, parent and grandparent. Mr. Murphy was married for 27 years to Sharon Lee Young, a fifth-generation Vineyarder and great-great-granddaughter of William H. Hart of New Britain, Conn., patriarch and founder of Harthaven in Oak Bluffs.
According to Mr. Murphy's father in law, fourth-generation Vineyarder Howard Young, "Terry wrote short stories and composed his own wedding ceremony. The ceremony would have lasted longer if the justice of the peace had not inadvertently skipped half a dozen pages in his desire to rush to the conclusion!"
Mr. Murphy did two tours of duty in Vietnam as a Navy search and rescue helicopter pilot and was cited for heroism. Undaunted and fearless, he took his chopper behind enemy lines to rescue two American soldiers. Following Vietnam, the native New Yorker (Terry's parents were born in Ireland) returned stateside where he began his 30-year career as a captain for Delta Air Lines.
While he worked for Delta, the Murphys lived in Florida and divided their time between the sunshine state and their home in Chilmark. Following retirement, Mr. Murphy built his retirement dream home on the island of Great Guana, which is part of the Abaco island cluster in the Bahamas. Terry and Sherry sailed their sloop, Mist of Erin, to the Vineyard and took many cruises aboard their beloved catamaran, Ard Ri (Celtic for Warrior Chief), which was destroyed in Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
Mr. Murphy is survived by his wife, Sherry Young of the Vineyard; daughters Karen and Leigh and granddaughter Meghan of Florida.
Terence Murphy was interred in Key West with full military honors including a 21-gun salute. The family requests that all donations in his memory be made to Hospice.