Brendan Murphy

Brendan Joseph Murphy, 81, of Winnett, passed away Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, after a courageous battle with an extended illness.

Brendan was born in Helena on July 22, 1937. He was the first child of David and Zita (Raths) Murphy. He was raised in Roundup and joined by two brothers and two sisters.

In his early years, Brendan spent many hours working with his uncles, Nick and George, on the Raths Family Ranch. His love of ranching continued throughout his life. After graduating from Roundup High School in 1955, he attended Stout State College in Wisconsin for one year and then transferred to Montana State College in Bozeman, where he graduated in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Arts and Physical Education. He met his wife, Joan Hill, in a bookkeeping class and they were married in 1959 at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Roundup. An enduring love story and partnership was born. After their marriage, Brendan and Joan started their teaching careers in Rigby, Idaho. This was also where Brendan began his lifelong love of coaching basketball.

After teaching in Idaho for one year, they moved back to their beloved state of Montana. Teaching and coaching continued with stops in Plevna, Columbus, Stanford and Chinook. During these years, Brendan had many coaching accomplishments and was recognized as a “Coach of the Year” several times. In 1961, he led the Plevna Cougars to their first State Tournament appearance in decades. In 1967, he led the Stanford Wolves to a second place finish at the State Class C basketball tournament. In 1968, his Chinook Sugarbeeters team won the Class B State Basketball Championship, followed by a third place finish in 1969. Along with coaching, Brendan spent many years as a referee for high school football and basketball games. Whether through coaching, teaching or just sharing his knowledge, Brendan loved helping others to learn and grow.

Brendan and Joan started their family in 1964 with the arrival of Brad. In 1966, their family was complete with the arrival of Brent. Raising their two sons in Stanford, Chinook and Winnett brought out the best in Brendan. He was a loving and supportive father who always placed his family first as he made it a priority to take care of them throughout his life.

In 1974, a new chapter began for Brendan as he moved his family to Winnett to help operate and manage the Hill Family Ranch. Ranching was for always and ever a part of him. He loved all the variety of operating a ranch from cattle management to farming. Working side by side with his family and many special individuals to make the ranching operation a success was a great source of satisfaction for him. Because of his dedication, hard work and passion, the ranch was successful.

In addition to ranching, Brendan served his community of Winnett and Petroleum County with many public service contributions. He served as a Petroleum County Commissioner for 18 years.

Survivors include his loving wife of 60 years, Barbara Joan (Hill) Murphy; two sons, Brad (Janay) Murphy of Casper, Wyoming, and Brent (Danelle) Murphy of Eagle, Idaho; his grandchildren, including Nate, Colin (Linden), Karley, Devin (Emily), Brayden, Korinn and Brynn; and one great-grandchild, Tatum. He is also survived by his brothers and sisters, Kevin Murphy, Sue Olson, Alan Murphy and Joleen Cahill.

Dad, for your example of life lived and your wisdom and love given, we will be eternally grateful.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, 503 Main St., in Roundup. A lunch reception will follow to celebrate and honor Brendan’s life.

In remembrance, donations can be made to the Petroleum County Endowment or Community Center at the Central Montana Foundation (www.centralmontanafoundation.com) or a charity of your choice.

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