Francis Murphy, age 93, of Milbank, SD, passed away on Friday, February 2, 2024, at Milbank Area Hospital – Avera Health.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank, SD. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the church with a Vigil Service and Rosary beginning at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday. Fr. Brian Eckrich will celebrate the Mass and interment will be at Webster City Cemetery in Webster, SD.
Francis Louis Murphy was born on September 28, 1930, in Elrod Township of Clark County, SD. The family moved to Waubay where Francis attended country school through eighth grade. After attending country school in Waubay, Francis and his family settled on a farm northeast of Ortley, SD, and Francis attended school in Summit, SD. He graduated from Summit High School with the Class of 1948. Following graduation, he returned to farming, joining his father and continuing their family legacy.
In the early 1960s, Francis briefly worked at Oahe Dam in Pierre, SD, showcasing his versatility and dedication to hard work. There was a dedication by President Kennedy at the dam and Francis was fortunate enough to be able to attend.
It was at a Bingo game hosted by the Catholic church in Waubay that he met Marlene Lesnar. Their connection was undeniable, and they were united in marriage on September 26, 1964, in Webster, SD.
Together, Francis and Marlene embarked on a new chapter, moving to a farm in Wheatland Township of Day County, SD. They lovingly raised their two children while farming the land and having a herd of dairy cattle.
Not only was Francis a skilled farmer but also a devoted community member, serving on the Wheatland Township Board and on the church council at Immaculate Conception Church in Waubay. His commitment to his family and community led him to assume the role of President of the Milbank Senior Citizens, where he ensured the well-being and enrichment of his fellow members.
Francis’s kindness and generosity extended far beyond his work and community involvement. He found joy in the simple pleasures of life, relishing in a spirited game of cards, especially Whist and Pinochle. He loved to watch car races and cheered on the Minnesota Twins. Francis really cherished the moments spent with Marlene by taking her to the movies or just going for a drive.
Francis leaves behind his children: Carol (Chuck) Lorden of Elkton, SD; and David (Lori) Murphy of Waverly, MN; six grandchildren: Cameron Lorden, Cierra Lorden, Brittany (Dave) Keltgen, Jenna (Chase) Olson, Samantha Murphy, and Zachary Murphy; three great-grandchildren: Jordan, Alex, and Brayden; two sisters: Dorothy Meyer of Wilmot, SD; and Maureen (Ron) Rysso of Grayling, MI; along with many nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his wife, Marlene; his parents; sisters: Sr. Patricia Murphy and Collette Weyh; and brother, Robert Murphy.