Richard Franklin Murphy (“Dick”) entered into his eternal home to be with our heavenly Father on Nov. 5, 2019, surrounded by his loving wife Marie and his children. He was born Dec. 14, 1931 in Alliance, Neb., to Harry C. and Gladys (Keating) Murphy, and grew up in Aurora, Ill. As a child he nurtured an early interest in railroads as his father Harry rose to the administrative ranks of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad. After attending high school at Marmion Military Academy in Aurora, Dick studied finance at Notre Dame University, graduating in 1954, and then served in the U.S. Air Force as a Security Forces officer, earning the rank of 1st lieutenant.

Dick began a career in the railroad supply industry in 1957 that spanned five decades including starting two companies. His inventions and innovations helped to transform freight transportation — improving efficiency, reducing the wear of steel on steel and protecting cargo. The first company he founded, Zeftek, earned the Inc. 500 Index award in 1994 — placing 303rd in the top 500 fastest growing small businesses nationally. He then founded Zeftron as he continually worked to improve the railroad system. Zeftron’s focus was to reduce the stopping distance of freight trains through Electronic Controlled Pneumatic brakes.

Throughout his life, Dick loved the Wisconsin Northwoods — especially the people and lifestyle of the small town Manitowish Waters area. He loved bow-hunting, water-skiing, snowmobiling, boating and the Our Lady Queen of Peace parish community where he shared his beautiful, strong baritone voice. He and Marie built their retirement log home there, and enjoyed savoring and sharing the seasons with family and friends. Even as his health declined in recent years, Dick cherished time spent observing the simple pleasures of the Northwoods — gentle snowfalls, soaring eagles, yodeling loons and curious foxes who often came up to their front door.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Beth (Murphy) Garbe, brother John Murphy, and former wife Ann Murphy. He is survived by his beloved wife Marie (Paral) of 29 years and his children: Carrie (Patrick) Feehan of Mankato, Minn.; Robert (Wendy) of Sandia Park, N.M.; Michael (Mary Jane) of North Aurora, Ill.; Margaret (Mark) Lincoln of Batavia, Ill.; and Jane (Don) Devine of Milwaukee. He also leaves grandchildren Daniel, Caitlin, Joseph, Max, Elizabeth, Michael, Molly, Addison, Piper, Saker, and Lanner, and great-grandchildren Conor and Declan as well as nieces and nephews. Dick also loved and enjoyed Marie’s many siblings, their spouses and children, and numerous other relatives.

The family would like to extend much gratitude to the terrific EMT’s of the Manitowish Waters and surrounding areas’ rescue squads, the excellent staff of Howard Young Medical Center and Fathers Ron Serrano and Maria Joseph Kodiganti. A special thank you to our many friends who have comforted us throughout the difficult times with their constant care, food, love and prayers.

Visitation will be held at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Manitowish Waters on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 from 9 a.m. until the funeral mass at 11 a.m., followed by military rites by the VFW Post 9536.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to The American Parkinson’s Disease Association , The American Diabetes Association or The American Heart Association.

Online condolences may be shared at www.nimsgernfuneral.com. Nimsgern Funeral & Cremation Services is serving the family.