Daniel K. Murphy, Sr., 69, of Redlands, California, formerly of Newport, died peacefully on October 25, 2021 at his home after a long illness. He was the son of the late John Quinlan and Kathleen Gray Murphy. He was married to the former Linda C. Dugan for 38 years.
In 2018, Dan retired as professor emeritus of the University of Redlands School of Music in CA where he taught jazz studies, improvisation and music education courses for 28 years. As a jazz pianist, he performed extensively on the East Coast and throughout Southern California.
Growing up in Newport, Dan played Little League on the Newport Electric Company’s team “The Watts”; swam at the Boys’ Club and took a trophy or two; played bass guitar with the band “The Night Shift”; and won surfing competitions with the Newport Surfing Association in the New England Surfing Championships in the late 60s. Dan attended the Newport schools CranstonCalvert, Thompson Junior High School, and DeLaSalle Academy. He was a 1971 graduate of Rogers High School. Over the years, he enjoyed the trails at The Norman Bird Sanctuary and walking the family dog and fishing off the rocks at Sachuest Point.
At the age of 21, he purchased and restored a wooden Alden ketch and operated a chartering business out of Newport Harbor. He took guests out for the day aboard his boat “Orpheus” to watch the America’s Cup Races and raced her in the annual Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta. During the 70s, Dan also worked as a pilot boat captain out of Newport Harbor and was a member of the Northeast Marine Pilots Association.
Dan earned a Bachelor of Music degree at Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT and Master of Music degree at the University of Rhode Island. In 1985, he was awarded a Doctor of Music Education degree from the University of Northern Colorado. His teaching career began at St. Michael’s Country Day School in Newport where he was the Director of Music from 1981 to 1984. He also taught private piano lessons and was a member of the adjunct music faculty at Salve Regina University. After earning his doctorate, he served as an assistant professor at the University of Maine in Augusta. In 1993, he accepted the position of associate professor of music at the University of Redlands in CA. While living in the area, he enjoyed backpacking in the Sierras and sailing on the Pacific Ocean.
Besides his wife, he leaves two sons, D. Kevin Murphy, Jr. and Sean Dugan Murphy, both of Kailua, Hawaii; two sisters, Mary S. Murphy Schlichting and her husband, Kurt, and Kerry A. Murphy, both of Newport; three brothers, J. Quinlan Murphy, Jr. and his wife, Mary Ellen, of Sweetwater, NY and Newport, Patrick E. Murphy and his wife, Valerie, of Santa Cruz, CA and Michael S. Murphy and his wife, Ellie, of Baltimore, MD and Newport. He also leaves many nieces and nephews and grandnieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, July 10 at 12:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Resort at the Wyndham Hotel, 240 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown. Donations may be made in Dan’s name to The Norman Bird Sanctuary, 583 Third Beach Road, Middletown, RI., 02840.
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