Clifton Meade Murphy, 77, Mt. Lebanon, formerly of Punxsutawney, died Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, at the Hollidaysburg Veterans’ Home in Hollidaysburg.
He was born Nov. 20, 1934, in Big Run, Pa., a son of the late James W. and Margaret E. (Pooler) Murphy.
Clifton graduated from Punxsutawney High School in 1952 and from Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pa., in 1956. He earned a bacehlor’s degree and was commissioned a 2d LT in the U.S. Army Infantry.
After training at Ft. Benning, Ga., and later at the Jungle Warfare Training Center, Panama, Clifton became an Infantry Unit Commander and Training Officer.
Recruited for duty in the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps, he was schooled in counterintelligence operations and techniques, investigative photography and the German language.
Over the course of his career, he held a series of operational, command, staff and advisory positions in Europe, Asia and SE Asia for three tours and in the Continental U.S.
A graduate of the Intelligence Officer Career Course, U.S. Army Intelligence School, Clifton was also an instructor at that institution.
He had the honor and privilege to have served as a Major Unit Commander in the renowned 101st Airborne Division (“Screaming Eagles”).
His terminal assignment was with the equally famous 82d Airborne Division (“The All Americans”).
In addition to recognition and certification as a parachutist, jumpmaster, ranger and jungle expert, his awards and decorations include the following medals: Bronze Star, Army Meritorious Service, Army Commendation, National Defense Service, Armed Forces Expeditionary, Vietnam Service, Republic of Vietnam Campaigns and the Vietnamese Staff Service, as well as the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm and six Overseas Service Stripes, indicating at least 36 months service in a hostile fire zone.
His interest in World War II history led him to tour many European battlefields, including Normandy, France, where he walked the D-day invasion beaches, airborne drop zones and mission objectives and visited the many memorials which dot the area.
He was an ardent fisherman and was fortunate to have fished some of the finest trout water in the U.S., Germany and Austria.
He frequently traveled to Oregon for salmon and steelhead fishing.
He, along with his wife, found great enjoyment in breeding, raising and showing the Duffy Apricot Poodles.
He enjoyed membership in the American Legion and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and was a life member of the 82d Airborne Division Assn.; The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Military Officers Association of America.
Survivors include: his former wife, Sarah E. Patterson-Murphy; and children James G. Murphy of Nazareth, Pa., John F. Murphy of Terryville, Conn., Marye E. (Murphy) Snyder, of Morrisdale, Pa., and Melissa A. (Murphy) Blose of San Diego, Calif.; and grandchildren Sarah, Rachael, James W., Savannah and Regan.
He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Margaret Duffy.
Friends will be received from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, at the Deeley Funeral Home, Punxsutawney.
A service by the Jefferson County Veterans Honor Guard will be held at noon on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, at Lakelawn Memorial Park, Reynoldsville.
Interment will be at Lakelawn Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, Clifton requested donations be made to the Orphans of the Storm, animal shelter, P.O. Box 838, Rt. 85 East, Kittanning, PA 16201; or to the Animal Rescue League of Western PA, 6620 Hamilton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206.
Online condolences may be made at www.deeleyfuneralhome.com .