Martin D. “Pete” Murphy ’56 passed away peacefully on the morning of February 8, 2017. Born on March 7, 1935, as a third generation San Franciscan and a descendant of the California Pioneers, he was a man of enormous humility, generosity, loyalty, and humor. He rarely passed on the opportunity to laugh at himself or to make others laugh.
Pete was born and raised in the Marina District in San Francisco. He was raised by his mother, Anna, a math teacher at Galileo High School, and his father Martin, longtime President of City Title Insurance. He attended Ecole Notre Dame des Victories grammar school, St. Ignatius High School (Class of 1952) and Santa Clara University. He completed his strong Jesuit-based education when he graduated from University of San Francisco School of Law in 1961. In between college and law school, Pete served two years in the United States Armed Services as a second lieutenant.
During his school years, Pete was an accomplished scholar athlete. He played varsity baseball. He competed at the collegiate level in basketball. He also played collegiate tennis. Pete was quick to quip that he was “a great natural athlete.”
Pete spent his entire legal career at the venerable San Francisco law firm of Tobin & Tobin. His primary practice was estate planning. He counseled many San Francisco families over the years and he was an active lecturer in his field. He also was involved in non-profit law where he represented many Catholic entities and charities including the San Francisco Archdiocese.
Pete was most passionate about his volunteer work for Catholic Charities. He shared this passion with his loving wife, Joanne, of 51 years. He spent countless hours serving on the boards of Several Bay Area Catholic organizations, including Hanna Boys Center, Holy Family Day Home and the Knights of Malta. To honor his services, he received a myriad of awards including the St. Thomas More Award as outstanding Catholic Attorney, the Alice Phelan/Sullivan Award from Catholic Charities, Alumnus of the Year from USF School of Law and the Christ the King Award from St. Ignatius. He was also loyal to his alma maters and other educational institutions. He was the chairman of large capital campaigns for St. Brendan School (parish center), St. Ignatius College Preparatory (large facility upgrade) and USF School of Law (new law library).
Pete was devoted to his family. In addition to Joanne, he is also survived by his three sons, Martin Murphy Jr. ’88 (Marie), John Murphy ’90 (Adrienne) and Patrick (Jenny), and grandchildren Milan, Sierra, Olivia and Luke. He will be missed very much by his family and by the many people whose lives he touched.
The family wishes to extend its heartfelt thanks to the compassionate individuals who cared for Pete at St. Mary’s Medical Center and USCF Medical Center prior to his passing.