Colonel James Alfred Murphy

July 4, 1934 - August 9, 2023

07/04/1934 - 08/09/2023

Past Services

Roman Catholic Funeral Mass
Friday September 01, 2023
12:00 pm
St. Bede Catholic Church
3686 Ironbound Road
Williamsburg, Virginia 23188
Additional Information:

Inurnment with military honors to follow at St. Bede’s columbarium

Colonel James Alfred Murphy, US Army, beloved father, grandfather and husband passed away on August 9, 2023 at Warwick Forest Long Term Care surrounded by his loving wife Loretta and his Daughters.

Jim was born July 4, 1934 and raised in Brooklyn, NY by his proud Irish parents John and Christina Murphy. He was a strong and faithful lifelong Roman Catholic. While he initially entered the Seminary with the intention of becoming a priest, plans changed when he met his first wife of almost 50 years, Bridget. In quick succession he was drafted by the US Army and sent to Officer Candidate School, Field Artillery School, Married, attended Law School, became an FBI Agent, and finally returned to the US Army as a JAG Officer. Jim served his country with great pride for 30 years. He spoke 6 languages, was stationed overseas in Germany, Vietnam and Panama. He also created the International Law course while teaching Law at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. When Jim retired from Military Service he started his own Real Estate business Murphy and Kelly Realty. His proudest and greatest achievement was his 4 “Murphy Girls”, his 10 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren. He met his personal goal that all four of his daughters and all 10 of his grandchildren would be college graduates and was very proud to have achieved this goal. Upon fully retiring, Jim lived in Williamsburg, VA for 14 years and was active in volunteering for Colonial Williamsburg at the Tucker House and faithfully attended St Bede’s Catholic Church.

After Bridget passed away, Jim married Loretta Martisauskas and they moved to the Warwick Forest Retirement Community where they spent 9 happy years. Jim particularly loved walking 2 plus miles every morning around the Warwick Forest campus, taking exercise classes and attending fun events at Warwick Forest with Loretta.

Jim was an active member of both Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church and St Jerome Catholic Church. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Jim was predeceased by his wife Bridget Murphy, Parents John and Christina Murphy and sisters Angela Reynolds and Sister Christina Marie Murphy, SSND. He is survived by his wife Loretta; his daughters and son in laws Christina and Jerry Patterson of Yorktown, VA; Bridget Simmerman and David Seriff of Blacksburg, VA; Ann and Tom Tagtmeyer of North Myrtle Beach, SC and Mary Jean Gatens of Yorktown, VA. Jim was very proud of his 10 grandchildren Ross and Colleen Patterson, Johanna Mauss and Leah Simmerman, Keeley Liotard, Riley and Miles Tagtmeyer, Will, James and Marley Gatens and his 6 great grandchildren Aria, Eliana and Victoria Tagtmeyer, Zac and Owen Liotard and Breya Mauss. He is also survived by his brother Dr. Gerald Murphy and wife Rita of New Orleans, LA and his brother-in-law Billy Thompson of Brooklyn, NY as well as many nieces and nephews. As well as Loretta’s sons Mark (Mary) Watts, Ocean City, MD, Alan (Julie) Watts, Rosedale, MD and Glenn (Renee) Watts, Bel Air, MD. Grandsons Brendan and Colin Watts, Granddaughters Stephanie Grove, Kelly Shermot, Camryn Faulkner and Chloe Watts and 2 great grandchildren Maya Watts and Brinley Mae Grove.

A Roman Catholic Funeral Mass will be held on September 1st , 2023 at Noon at St Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg, VA 23188. Mass will be preceded by the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Chalice Presentation Ceremony at 11:40 am in the Baptistry. Inurnment will follow immediately after Mass with full military honors in the St Bede Columbarium where he will be laid to rest with Bridget. Guests are asked to arrive by 11:30 am. A Reception and Celebration of Remembrance will follow in the St Bede Catholic Church common area. For those who cannot attend in person but would like to attend virtually please access the link below for a live feed of the funeral Mass at noon:

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) Development, 345 Belden Hill Road, Wilton, CT 06897 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

The family extends a special thank you to Warwick Forest Evergreen Memory Care Staff, Warwick Forest Long Term Care and Riverside Hospice.

Altmeyer Funeral Home Denbigh Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be registered at

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Richard Rinaldo, Lt. Col, USA, Ret
6 months ago

A salute to Colonel Murphy from someone new to Warwick Forest who did not know him well, but knows him through his beautiful obituary and my own life as an ex-New Yorker, living alongside that vibrant Irish-Catholic culture, knowing and loving Irish relatives through marriage, my Aunt Nana when I, a youngster, and my mother drank tea and enjoyed her distinctive brogue. My parish, now the Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where there remained some Irish students and friends, the Mannings and others and the Morin families from Jersey. How about another Murphy, who gave me a black eye on the first day of Cardinal Hayes H.S. at St. Bernard’s Annex: and 50 years later at our Jubilee he expressed such genuine regrets and sorrows for having done so? Ah the Sisters of Charity, mostly Irish, those loving yet stern ladies, whose motto from St. Vincent de Paul, I keep close: :Love is Inventive to infinity.” Who can forget them and all the other stout- hearted Irish Catholics. They say it takes a village to raise a child.  A village of tribes that get along. And the values embodied in his life and family! Condolences to all of them .

Beth and Jeff Paiste
6 months ago

Colonel Murphy was a brilliant man with a strong faith, high moral values and a love for his country and family. I see he instilled all of this upon his children and the world is a better place because of it. May he rest peacefully knowing he accomplished so much in his life and was greatly loved.

Cheryl J Skinner Tri-State Military Museum
6 months ago

May the love of God surround you and your family during this difficult time,

 May you come to know that the love of God is with you always,

May your memories of Colonel James Alfred Murphy, give you peace, comfort and strength…

Rest now in the arms of our Lord your mission on earth is complete.

I thank you for your service to our Country and my Freedom. You will not be forgotten.

My thoughts

and prayers to the family of ….

US Army Veteran, Colonel James Alfred Murphy, is “A True American Hero” God Bless†

† Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 †

Kaye & Chris and family
6 months ago

Love to the whole Murphy family and especially our friends Chris, Jerry, Ross and Colleen Patterson. Jim was a fine man who left an amazing legacy.

Lynda Fairman
6 months ago

He was always so nice to us whenever we saw him over the years. Such an amazing life and a wonderful family to continue his legacy! I know he will be greatly missed by everyone.
Eternal rest grant unto James Alfred Murphy, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Tamara Williams
6 months ago

Amazing and accomplished man!