Miles Murphy Jr.

Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Longtime Hoonah resident Miles Nicholas Murphy Jr. died Feb. 7, 2010, in Anchorage. He was 76.

He was born Aug. 30, 1933, in Juneau. He was a Raven/ T'ak dein taan from the Head house. His Tlingit name was Gulxaa (Johnny James' namesake).

He graduated from Mount Edgecumbe High School in 1954 and soon after joined the U.S. Army, where he served through May 10, 1957.

In his early years, he was a commercial fisherman, worked with Tlingit and Haida Electrical, BIA Roads and served as mayor of Hoonah from 1975 to 1987.

In his final years, he was an avid reader. His family said Miles could always be spotted a a restaurant in early morning, drinking coffee and socializing. He always had a book in hand, if he was not out walking his dogs.

He enjoyed fishing. He was a member of the Lions Club, American Legion, Alaska Native Brotherhood and Hoonah Indian Association, and was a Huna Totem Corp. and Sealaska shareholder.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth "Betty" Murphy; parents, Assunta Hill and Miles Murphy Sr., of Juneau.

He is survived by his children: Miles, Twila and Myron Murphy, of Hoonah, and Kathleen Parks and Renae McLean, of Juneau; step-children, Chris Sumdum, Janice Bennett and Charlene Austin; brothers, Paul Rudolph, Royal Hill Sr., Vernon Hill, Byron Rudolph, Alessandro Hill and Raino Hill, all of Hoonah, Alvin Rudolph, of Wasilla, Barry Smith, of Juneau, and Wally and John Harris, of Anchorage; sisters, Pauline Andersson, of Swedan, Myra Dore, of Tacoma, Wash., Tina Martin, of Hoonah, and Evelyn Hatmaker, Lina Edwards and Mary Stuart, of Juneau. He also enjoyed spending time with his 17 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers are Royal Hill Jr., Tauno Hill, Alessandro Hill, Trevor Hill, Cory Hill, Brandon and Walter Hill. Honorary pallbearers are Ernie Hillman, George Martin, Bill Cook Jr., Frank White, Roger Door and Sven Andersson.

A service will be held at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, at Chapel by the Lake. Cards and donations can be mailed to Renee McLean, 4446 Trafalgar Ave., Juneau, AK 99801.

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