Leroy Murphy, age 56, of Greenville Ohio, died October 20, 2013, doing what he loved best. As a fire instructor for Clark State College, he was beginning his class in full gear when he fell ill. His fellow firefighters began lifesaving measures and transported him to the hospital. There in the emergency room, when the doctors decided to “call it,” his comrades continued taking turns doing CPR for 2½ hours. He was then put on life support. A steady stream of firefighters came through the night to sit with him and pray with his family. He died the following morning of a pulmonary embolism. His loss was deeply felt by the community.
Leroy was a firefighter and EMT for the Gettysburg Fire Department and the Englewood Fire Department. He was the former assistant chief and EMT of the Greenville Township Fire Department. He was a member of the HAZMAT team and coordinator for the Darke County LEPC. He was the safety director for the Whirlpool Corporation.
In 2010, he was honored with the Hometown Hero Award for his courageous rescue of a Whirlpool employee who had accidentally driven a car into an icy pond. He has a brick in the Walk of Honor for his heroic effort. In addition to being a firefighter, EMT, inspector and instructor, he was a member of the Eagles, Darke County Coin Club, Treaty City Amateur Radio, Ohio Society of Fire Service Instructors and past member of the Fire Chiefs Association.
Leroy was a jokester and had a funny line for everything. He could make you laugh. He loved to have family and friends around the fire pit in the backyard, telling stories until late in the night. He loved wearing his kilt and enjoyed his Irish ancestry. His mother passed away a few short weeks before his death. He is survived by his father, Leroy E. Murphy, Sr.; his wife, Betty; children, Wyatt and Amanda; his stepchildren, Betty, Nicole, and Michael; 12 grandchildren; a brother, Terry, and sister, Debbie; numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and his brother firefighters.
Leroy had an ethical strength about him that signified trust. He was a good listener and a person of his word. His legacy will continue to inspire many. 700 mourners packed The Cardinal Center for his funeral. His casket, draped with the flag, was carried on the fire truck in a procession that was over three miles long lined with fire trucks, EMS vehicles, and police and fire officials from all over the State of Ohio and neighboring counties.
He is greatly missed by his wife, family, friends, and fellow firefighters.