School 21

William Ward Murphy

June 15, 1940 ~ October 2, 2022 (age 82) 82 Years Old


William (Bill) Ward Murphy, 82, of Madison Indiana departed this world on Sunday, October 2nd, 2022 at River Terrace surrounded by family. He was born in Muskegon, Michigan on June 15th, 1940 to George and Dorothea (Ward) Murphy. He moved to Battle Creek, MI in 1965; Jonesville, MI in 1970; to the Battle Creek/Portage area in 1986; and to Madison Indiana in 1996.

Bill graduated from Muskegon High School in 1959, and from Western Michigan University in 1965 with a masters. He obtained numerous accolades in his 30 plus years as a teacher with Harper Creek Public Schools running the A.P. English program, including: two state of Michigan senate recognitions for teaching excellence, an "Educator of Excellence" award from Central Michigan University, 12 "Outstanding Educator" awards from the W.K. Kellog foundation, an "Achievement in Education" award from the Harper Creek Optimists, and an "Outstanding Presenter" award for Michigan NCA State conferences. His innovative, diligent and insightful teaching influenced and shaped the lives of countless students. After 33 years of teaching, he retired and purchased the property at 1229 West Main in Madison Indiana.

While teaching, Bill was also a connoisseur of antebellum antiques and historic architecture. Over 60 years, he rehabilitated three 19th century homes, historically renovating them to their former glory while traveling the country acquiring the finest antiques to furnish them. The final culmination of antiques and property being 1229 West Main, where Bill and his wife Betty opened The Whitehall Bed & Breakfast in 1998.

Whitehall B&B was known for its museum quality antiques and lavish 5-course breakfasts boasting filet mignon and egg sardou as the main courses. Bill then built the Romanesque stone arched wall beside 2nd street opening up to a magnificent rock decor, paths, and seating areas for guests to enjoy. The B&B ran until 2013.

Bill was a lover of literature, Greek mythology, research, history and theater of the absurd. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, wildlife, and time with family where laughs were uproarious. He had a style of defying the odds, creativity, and being a force to reckon with, along with an ability to get in and get things done. These, along with countless supportive conversations, genuine presence, guidance and irreverent humor will be immensely missed by his family.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, George and Dorothea Murphy as well as brothers Frank and Mike Murphy. He is survived by the love of his life, Elizabeth (Betty) Murphy; three loving children, Ben (Kathy) Murphy, Rebecca (Chris) Wyse, and Maureen (Charles) Krueger; two stepchildren Bill (Liz) Sargent and Richelle Treves; 12 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Please join us in commemorating Bill at a memorial service held on October 29th at Lytle Welty Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Vail Chapel, 117 Holt Drive, Madison, IN 47250 at 11 am. All memorials can be made to the Madison Historical Society or Our Hospice of South Central Indiana. Contributions can be made at Lytle Welty Funeral Home or below.

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Funeral Service


Memorial Service
October 29, 2022

11:00 AM
Lytle Welty Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, Vail Chapel
117 Holt Drive
Madison, IN 47250


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