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William (Bill) Walton Murphy
January 11, 1947 – October 1, 2023 (76 years old)
William Murphy of Saunderstown, formerly of West Sacramento, Calif., passed away on Sunday, October 1, 2023 at the age of 76. Cherished husband of Sheril Ann Wiltfong for 48 years, he was born in Toronto, Ontario to the late William and Margaret (Walton) Murphy.
Having lost his loving wife in 2017, Bill is survived by his devoted daughters Dr. Melissa Monique Murphy and her husband Steven Colson of Saunderstown, RI; Alyssa Murphy McGehee and her husband Andrew of Long Valley, NJ; cherished grandchildren Riley, Cole, and Annabelle; dear siblings Ellen Martha Overstall of Nanoose Bay, B.C., Susan Murphy of Kingston, ONT, Neil Murphy of Chilliwack, B.C., Rosemary Milne of North Vancouver, B.C. Kathy Henderson of Vernon, B.C., Pamela Roberston of Kelowna, B.C., and Chris Murphy of Chilliwack, B.C; nieces Michelle, Erika, Margaret, Stephanie, Catherine, Anissa, Alison, Eleanor, Margaret, Christine, Debbie, and Breanna; nephews Cory, Kyle, David, Cameron, Nicholas, Graham, Ryan, and Brendan, as well as numerous great nieces and great nephews.
The first of eight children, Bill was born at East York Hospital in Toronto. An exceptional painter and illustrator, his artistic abilities were recognized early, as he would leave beautiful drawings on his books in class. As a child he enjoyed being with his siblings as well as fishing, hockey, and football. He loved his summers spent at the family cottage in Red Bay on Lake Huron.
Bill met Sheril while working in London, UK. After traveling in Europe, they married in Tacoma, WA before living in Venice Beach, CA. He attended the Art Center College of Design (1969-1971) then returned to Canada, settling in Montreal, Quebec to start a family. Ultimately settling in Sacramento, CA, Bill started his own company, Murphy Illustration, working in commercial art. Described as a ‘rare talent and an artist through and through’ by his clients, his art was featured at shows in the Sacramento area, capturing still life and those that he loved.
But above his career and livelihood, Bill made family and faith his priority. He was ever present at sporting events supporting both his children and then grandchildren. Sundays were reserved for church and family; breakfast complete with faith-based readings before school, a classic book after dinner were daily affairs. His lifelong commitment to community was demonstrated as he taught drawing to foster youth at the Sacramento Receiving Home, spending time with nursing home residents whom had no known families, and even visited those confined to a prison cell. Bill was active with the West Sacramento Kiwanis Club for decades and a fixture at summer camps and fundraisers as well as a dedicated member of the Knights of Columbus and Respect Life Ministry.
After retiring, Bill and Sheril relocated to Saunderstown, RI. He became an integral part of life at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. He will always be remembered for his humility and steadfast faith. His selfless love continues to inspire those that were blessed to know him.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial Friday, October 6, 2023 at 10am in St. Thomas More Church, 53 Rockland Street, Narragansett. Burial will follow in St. Francis Cemetery, Wakefield. VISITING HOURS Thursday from 4-7pm in the NARDOLILLO FUNERAL HOME & Crematory - SOUTH COUNTY CHAPEL, 1111 Boston Neck Road, (Rt. 1A), Narragansett. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Knights of Columbus, Pope Pius Council 5295, 53 Rockland Street, Narragansett, RI 02882.