Dr. Robert Cushman Murphy

Dr. Robert Cushman Murphy, a long-time Sheridan area colorful and sometimes controversial character, died peacefully at his home in Sheridan Wyoming on Jan. 5, 2009 at the age of 93.  Born in Brooklyn, NY on September 7, 1915, Dr. Murphy grew up on Long Island, the son of Robert Murphy and Grace Barstow Murphy. He graduated from Harvard University in 1937 and obtained a medical degree from Cornell Medical School in 1941.  In 1942 he was married to Nathalie Osborn, the mother of his three children.  After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, Dr. Murphy completed his residency in psychiatry at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas in 1948.  He subsequently practiced psychiatry in Tacoma, Washington and Waverly, Pennsylvania prior to moving to Sheridan in 1979 to be a staff psychiatrist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  In 1984 he married Georgia Foster and spent many happy years with her until his death.  He was a well known figure around Sheridan, riding his bicycle and small red motorcycle, and participating in community activities.  He and Georgia helped found the Sheridan Quaker Meeting and the People for Human Rights of Sheridan County which sponsored the Anne Frank Story Project.  He was a board member of Sheridan County Community Justice, represented Quakers on the Sheridan Ministerial Association and attended the Sheridan Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.  His writings appeared regularly on the editorial page and Pastor's Corner of The Sheridan Press.  He published in professional and Quaker journals and in 2006 published a book, Endgame Newgame: A Quaker Elder's Way to Peace.  Dr. Murphy sustained a life-long love of ornithology and an abiding appreciation of the beauty of the natural world, especially the Big Horn Mountains. He delighted in sharing this love by camping, hiking and skiing with Georgia, friends and family.  He had a passionate quest for knowledge on everything from gardening to restoring the earth, social justice and world peace.  Dr. Murphy is survived by his beloved wife, Georgia Foster, three children, Robin Whyatt and her husband Tom, Shaun Murphy and his wife Karen, and Jennifer Murphy, four grandchildren, Erin Whyatt, Matthew Whyatt, Loren Murphy and Clay Murphy, and one great grandchild, and his adopted family, Seana Fisher, and her children Tahseana and Blackhawk. The family is grateful to the wonderful In-Home care provided by Sheridan Senior Center, which allowed him to remain at home and die surrounded by family and friends.  His children are eternally grateful to Georgia for her care and support and for providing their father with 25 wonderful years.  Private graveside service was held.  A Quaker memorial service will be held on January 24th, 1:00 PM. at the First Christian Church.  Arrangements are with Champion Ferries Funeral Home.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Powder River Basin Resource Council or the Advocacy and Resource Center of Sheridan.