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John William Murphy


John William Murphy

John William Murphy, 86, of Wolfville, passed away on June 12, 2024, in the Valley Hospice, Kentville. Born in Halifax, he was a son of the late John and Mary (Carroll) Murphy.

John and Julia began their courtship after John and his brother serendipitously had a flat tire while on a day trip to the Valley and were rescued by Julia’s father and invited for breakfast. Our parents' eyes locked and that was it.

One of John’s greatest joys in life was sharing time with Julia in the company of their children, granddaughters, family, extended family and friends.

In his early years, John peddled clothing, worked in the mines while teaching English for Frontier College, and studied with the Oblate fathers. After moving back to Halifax, he studied at St. Mary’s University and then went on to get a Master of Social Work. This led him and Julia to start a family in Wolfville where he was the Director of the Fundy Mental Health Clinic and then Valley Mental Health Services. From 1993 to 1997, he had the great privilege of representing the people of Kings-Hants as a Member of Parliament.

John had a strong faith in the Holy Spirit, which guided him in every aspect of his being, and it nurtured his great ability to be present with anyone who crossed his path..

During his life, John was involved with the Friends of Schizophrenia Society, The Evangeline Club, L’Arche, National Council of Welfare, Citizen’s for Public Justice and St. Francis Catholic Parish.

In his spare time, John loved to pick wildflowers, travel, exercise, attend music and sporting events, especially when his granddaughters were involved. He also enjoyed playing Santa Claus and singing happy birthday to countless children and adults over the phone. Most recently, he enjoyed meeting friends and family at Charts Cafe on Saturday mornings where he greeted everyone with a warm smile and an engaged hello.

John lived a full, loving, and blessed life, which he was eternally grateful for. His family would like to extend a sincere thank you to all who loved him and cared for him. A special thanks to Valley Hospice staff, Dr. Rebecca Clarke, Dr. Wightman, and VON.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Julia (Sarsfield); son, Pat (Susan) Murphy, New Minas; daughter, Kelly Murphy, Port Williams; sister, Mary (Gerald) Conrad, Dartmouth; grandchildren, Micaela (Joseph) Wonnacott and Emma Murphy and brother-in-law, Leonard (Fran) Sarsfield, Delhaven.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his son-in-law, Tim Blackadar; brother, Gerard; and sister, Wenawae Murphy.

Visitation will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, June 17, 2024 in the White Family Funeral Home, Kentville. The funeral service will take place (with livestream) at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 1, 2024 in the St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Kentville, Father Michael Walsh officiating. Donations in memory may be made to Valley Hospice Foundation, L’Arche Homefires, or Evangeline Club. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Kentville. For online condolences, inquiries and to view the video webcast, please visit:

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Service Date
Monday, July 1, 2024
Service Time
11:00 a.m.
Service Location
St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Kentville

Monday, June 17, 2024
Visitation Time
6-8 p.m.
Visitation Location
White Family Funeral Home, Kentville

Requested Charity
Valley Hospice Foundation, L’Arche Homefires, or Evangeline Club