Brendan Joseph Murphy


Brendan Joseph Murphy


Brendan Joseph Murphy, 81, of Winnett, passed away Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, after a courageous battle with an extended illness.

Brendan was born in Helena on July 22, 1937. He was the first child of David and Zita (Raths) Murphy. He was raised in Roundup and joined by two brothers and two sisters.

In his early years, Brendan spent many hours working with his uncles, Nick and George, on the Raths Family Ranch. His love of ranching continued throughout his life. After graduating from Roundup High School in 1955, he attended Stout State College in Wisconsin for one year and then transferred to Montana State College in Bozeman, where he graduated in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Arts and Physical Education. He met his wife, Joan Hill, in a bookkeeping class and they were married in 1959 at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Roundup. An enduring love story and partnership was born. After their marriage, Brendan and Joan started their teaching careers in Rigby, Idaho. This was also where Brendan began his lifelong love of coaching basketball.

After teaching in Idaho for one year, they moved back to their beloved state of Montana. Teaching and coaching continued with stops in Plevna, Columbus, Stanford and Chinook. During these years, Brendan had many coaching accomplishments and was recognized as a “Coach of the Year” several times. In 1961, he led the Plevna Cougars to their first State Tournament appearance in decades. In 1967, he led the Stanford Wolves to a second place finish at the State Class C basketball tournament. In 1968, his Chinook Sugarbeeters team won the Class B State Basketball Championship, followed by a third place finish in 1969. Along with coaching, Brendan spent many years as a referee for high school football and basketball games. Whether through coaching, teaching or just sharing his knowledge, Brendan loved helping others to learn and grow.

Brendan and Joan started their family in 1964 with the arrival of Brad. In 1966, their family was complete with the arrival of Brent. Raising their two sons in Stanford, Chinook and Winnett brought out the best in Brendan. He was a loving and supportive father who always placed his family first as he made it a priority to take care of them throughout his life.

In 1974, a new chapter began for Brendan as he moved his family to Winnett to help operate and manage the Hill Family Ranch. Ranching was for always and ever a part of him. He loved all the variety of operating a ranch from cattle management to farming. Working side by side with his family and many special individuals to make the ranching operation a success was a great source of satisfaction for him. Because of his dedication, hard work and passion, the ranch was successful.

In addition to ranching, Brendan served his community of Winnett and Petroleum County with many public service contributions. He served as a Petroleum County Commissioner for 18 years.

Survivors include his loving wife of 60 years, Barbara Joan (Hill) Murphy; two sons, Brad (Janay) Murphy of Casper, Wyoming, and Brent (Danelle) Murphy of Eagle, Idaho; his grandchildren, including Nate, Colin (Linden), Karley, Devin (Emily), Brayden, Korinn and Brynn; and one great-grandchild, Tatum. He is also survived by his brothers and sisters, Kevin Murphy, Sue Olson, Alan Murphy and Joleen Cahill.

Dad, for your example of life lived and your wisdom and love given, we will be eternally grateful.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, 503 Main St., in Roundup. A lunch reception will follow to celebrate and honor Brendan’s life.

In remembrance, donations can be made to the Petroleum County Endowment or Community Center at the Central Montana Foundation ( or a charity of your choice.

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18 thoughts on “Brendan Joseph Murphy”

  1. I was deeply sorry to hear about the passing of Brendon. He was a great basketball coach. He will be missed tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends who share the sadness over this great loss.

  2. Remembering you and your family, during this time of grief! Heaven has another angel to help him coach his team!
    David Gibson

  3. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Joan. We miss Brendan at all the community events.
    Skip and Diane

  4. Joan, Brad and Brent and families;

    I am chuck smith who played on Coach Murphy’s basketball teams in 1972 and 1973, My family was moved around as my dad was a Montana State Game Warden so ended up in Chinook for my junior and senior years of high school. Coach Murphy was one of the best things that happened to me and will always be appreciative of that fact. I remember talking to you Mrs. Murphy and you Brad and Brent. Brad and Brent were in the gym a lot when we practiced. I called and talked to Coach Murphy when we were able to move back to Montana in 2006 and we talked for a very long time. I had a chance to see him at a basketball tournament then but couldn’t really make it and thought I would see him again another time. Let that be a lesson, see them when you can. Thank you Thea Miller Van Campen for bringing this to my and other peoples’ attention as I may have never heard about it otherwise. Go with God Coach Murphy.

  5. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and we share your grief and sadness over the great loss of a husband and father. He was a great coach and we will always cherish the memories we have of you both teaching in Plevna and the wonderful people you are!

  6. Bonita (Livengood) Phillips

    Joan and sons, I am so sad to read this. Brendon was one of my high school teachers as was Joan, I was able to pattern my reaching after both of these special people. May God richly grant you precious memories as you go through this time.

  7. Mr. Murphy was one of my teachers and my driver-ed instructor in Chinook, MT. I will always remember him as a great guy and a great teacher. Looking back he was one of my favorites. Sorry to hear of his passing.

  8. We are very sorry to hear about Mr. Murphy’s passing. I feel blessed to have known him, and the rest of the family. There was never a time that Joan and Mr. Murphy wouldn’t stop and take a moment to visit with us, and catch up on what was going on in Stanford. For Brad and Brent, you guys are the extension of your father and I’m blessed to be able to call you my friends. I just wish we could get together sometime. For Mrs. Murphy, I just want you to know that my folks thought the world of you guys and wished that you would’ve never left Stanford. Please accept our deepest sympathies. The Bob Galt family.

  9. We were very sorry to hear of Mr. Murphy’s passing. I am fortunate to have had the pleasure to visit with him on many occasions. My folks thought the world of him and wished that you guys would’ve been able to stay in Stanford. As for Brad and Brent, I’m blessed to be able to call you guys friend, and only wish that we could get together sometime and visit. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family and Mr. Murphy will never be forgotten by anyone that knew him.

  10. Bryan and Kathy Adolph

    We are so sorry for your loss. Sue, Bryan and I are out of town but extend our condolences to you and your entire family.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,
    Bryan and Kathy Adolph

  11. Heaven has gained another coach who blessed a lot of people, young and old, throughout his life with his caring ways. Prayers for comfort are sent to all of the family and friends at this time.

  12. Joe and Meg Brookshier

    Sorry to hear of your loss Joan. We remember the good times we had at Montana State and after. Our prayers are with you.

  13. Dear Murphy Family,
    I was saddened to hear of Mr. Murphy’s (still can’t call him Brandon) passing. It was such a treat to see him at our 50th High School Reunion in Stanford two summers ago.
    Condolences to all of your family I am out of the country so I will not be able to attend but my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Respectfully yours,
    John L. Tripp DDS

  14. Nanette Berger Hicks

    I was saddened to hear of Mr. Murphy’s passing. He was my history teacher and driver’s ed. instructor at good ol’ CHS. He had the patience of a saint and the heart of a lion when teaching me to drive. I loved watching him coach. He never let anything slide by him when it came to the refs. He was a fine man and blessed with a wonderful family. I will remember him fondly. Prayers go out to all of you.

  15. The Foster family is forever grateful for the guidance Brendan and Joan have provided during our time in Montana, they were always there for us. We will remember you Brendan.

  16. Dear Joan, Am so sorry of your loss. Brendon was a good man. It was good to see you two when you were in Stanford for the class reunion of 1967. I was sorry that we did not get to visit more. I will remember you two always, and the fun that we had at the good ole’ SHS. I will always remember the shortcuts and tricks that you taught me in the adult sewing classes you taught. We did have fun. Also working with Brendon will always be a good memory for me. God Bless you and your family. Rose Schindler (was Potter back then)

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