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THOMAS MURPHY
June 6, 1946 - June 29, 2018

Thomas Murphy, 72, of Caledonia, died Friday, June 29, 2018, at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.

He was born June 6, 1946, in New Hampton, Iowa, to Gerald and Loretta (Klenske) Murphy. He graduated from New Hampton High School in 1964 and graduated from the University of Iowa in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Tom served in the Army from 1969 to 1971. After his service he returned to New Hampton and worked for New Hampton Newspapers, publishers of The New Hampton Tribune and The New Hampton Economist.

In 1972 he became publisher of The Caledonia Argus. He was one of six people to purchase The Argus after longtime publisher Ray Ryan became ill with cancer. Ray’s daughter, Angela Ryan, returned to Caledonia to help her family and planned to work at the newspaper for only a short time after the sale. But she decided to stay in her hometown, and she and Tom were married on April 7, 1973, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Caledonia. Tom and Angela bought back The Argus in 1975 to become the sole owners and made their last payment on the sale in the 1980s. They sold the newspaper in 1998. He later worked for Mutual of Omaha before retiring.

Tom was thankful for family, friendships, work and community. He served on the ABC and ABLE boards and helped establish the Rotary Club in Caledonia. He was a longtime member of Loveless-Eikens American Legion Post 191. From 2009 to 2014 he served on the Caledonia City Council. He enjoyed talking with people, reading, playing golf, and traveling. He and Angela were wonderful parents.

Tom was preceded in death by Angela in 2016; a son, Patrick Murphy; sister and brother-in-law Susan and Edwin Koezly Jr.; and brothers-in-law Thaddeus Katzmark and Michael Ryan.

Survivors include a daughter, Cathleen (Scott) Swendsen of Lakewood, Colo.; a son, John Murphy of Caledonia; sisters Sally Katzmark of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Laurie (James) Davis of Charles City, Iowa; brother Walter (Glennda) Murphy of New Hampton, Iowa; sisters-in-law Mary (Michael) Hansen of North Las Vegas, Nev., and Barbara (Craig) Rollins of Caledonia; brother-in-law Kevin (Mary) Ryan of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and many nephews and nieces.

Funeral services will be held at 11 am Thursday, July 12 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Caledonia with Fr. Stephen Abaukaka officiating. Visitation will be held from 4 pm to 7 pm Wednesday, July 11 at McCormick Funeral Home in Caledonia and one hour before the service on Thursday. Inurnment will be at Calvary Cemetery in Caledonia.

Memorials may be given to ABC, ABLE, St. Mary’s or the organization of the donor’s choice.

McCormick Funeral Home, Caledonia, is assisting the family.


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