JOHN F. MURPHY / 1907-2002

Isle union negotiator had
taste for classical music

See also: Obituaries

By Genevieve A. Suzuki

Retired Castle & Cooke Vice President John F. Murphy negotiated with employee unions for almost three decades, before wholesale warehouses provided well-stocked relief during waterfront strikes.

"In 1948, things like toilet paper were really scarce, so things were difficult on the waterfront," said his son Rob.

"But that was an important time in my dad's career," said his oldest son, Jack.

Murphy died Nov. 6 at 95.

Murphy first came to Hawaii when he was stationed at Pearl Harbor during World War II as a staff member for the chief of naval personnel from 1944 to 1945. He returned to the islands a year later when Castle & Cooke hired him from Industrial Relations Counselors of New York. Murphy's regular duties often included figuring out employee hours, wages, payrolls and job descriptions.

He retired from Castle & Cooke in 1974.

Murphy also served as chairman of Honolulu Symphony Society's fund-raising drive for two years before being elected the organization's president.

"Classical music was always a very important part of his life," Jack said. "It was something that he enjoyed and wanted to extend his interest in his abilities and energies in a way that he could contribute to the world of classical music."

Murphy lived through another kind of strike in 1968 when symphony musicians staged a walkout because of a disagreement over a salary raise. The musicians union ordered its members back to work after two days.

Murphy also served on the Palama Settlement board of trustees and the Hale Kipa board of directors.

He was born in Worcester, Mass., on March 7, 1907. Murphy attended New York University and the Harvard School of Business. He met his wife, Marion, in high school in a drama club. They married in 1929.

Murphy is survived by wife Marion; sons Jack, Don, Rob and Neil; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Private services. Donations suggested to Palama Settlement and Hale Kipa.

E-mail to City Desk


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