According to Murphy’s obituary on the Nichols Funeral Home website, visiting hours are scheduled for Thursday from 3-6 p.m., immediately followed by a celebration of Joe’s life at 6 p.m.
During Wednesday night’s School Committee meeting, board members held a moment of silence in Murphy’s honor. Superintendent of Schools Joanne Benton said flags at the school will be flown at half staff on Thursday.
Benton read remarks from several teachers who recalled what Murphy, 17, was like inside the hallways of Wilmington High School.
“I will remember Joe as a bright, good natured, friendly young man,” said one teacher. “I am so glad I had the opportunity to teach him and get to know him for the wonderful man he was. He will be missed.”
Another teacher said that, “Joe’s warm smile, fun sense of humor, and sensitive heart will remain forever in my memory.”
According to Murphy’s obituary, he and his family moved to Wilmington in 1999. Murphy developed artistic talents and enjoyed editing animated videos and talking politics with his brother and father.
“Joe will be fondly remembered for his great sense of humor, his free spirit and his playful nature,” his obituary reads. “He loved to have fun and everyone wanted to be around him. Joe had an endearing personality, a quiet shyness, and a gift of making others feel special. He was not only kind and caring to others; he always had a soft spot for the underdog.”
Memorial donations in Murphy’s name can be made to the Joseph A. Murphy Scholarship Fund, c/o Citizens Bank, 224 Main Street, Wilmington, MA 01887. The scholarship was formed in honor of college bound students with learning disabilities.
Benton said during Wednesday’s School Committee meeting that Murphy’s loss has been difficult within the district.
“Joe will always be a member of the Wilmington Public Schools community,” said Benton.