Message from Jim Bacharach
January 28, 2016 5:23 PM
Dennis may not have been the biggest guy on the field but his presence and impact were huge during games and practices as well as in the smaller, quieter moments. I am lucky to have had him as a teammate.
Message from John and Barbara Pellicano
January 11, 2016 3:23 PM
Our heartfelt condolance to Kathleen, Jillian, Shane, and the rest of the Murphy family. We will all miss Dennis and his enthusiasm.
Message from Mark Zuckerman
January 11, 2016 1:45 PM
I was never the quality of athlete that Dennis and his brothers were, but I came into contact with the whole Murphy clan going to school in Westport along with the opportunity to see his Dad in action when my younger brother Eric played on one of the Raiders Little League teams. He was an all-around good guy and I am sure he will be sorely missed by his extended family and most everyone who knew him. RIP.
Message from John B Gould
January 9, 2016 2:46 AM
Thinking of you all and deeply saddened by your tremendous loss.
You are in my prayers my friends.
Message from Jem Sollinger
January 8, 2016 6:42 PM
Dennis was “old school” – before the phrase existed. He was my “official coach” for 1 season – at Coleytown Junior High. It was the year before they disbanded Westport Junior high sports teams, and the only year they permitted 7th graders to try-out for teams. I was an excited, nervous and eager 7th grader. Thrilled to play on a real team with my older brother for the 1st time. Close to 40 7th graders tried out. Our 1st session began with a build-up. I comfortably stayed near the front of the pack, with 2 people running a few strides ahead of me. “I’m doing well” I thought to myself, eager to make that great 1st impression on Dennis. From across the field, I heard Dennis scream “Jem Sollinger — get over here right now!” I sprinted over, unsure what to expect. “Are you the 3rd fastest 7th grader out here?” he asked. Before I could respond, he said,”Get to the front of the group. And stay there!”
Spending time with Dennis at Tactix was a soccer kid’s dream. He once gave me a bunch of posters he no longer wanted to hang in the store. I asked him if he ever kept any of the posters to hang in his house. His response: “Jemmer, there is only one athlete whose picture I would hang in my room or home. Larry Bird.” He was a lot like Larry Bird. Tough, no-nonsense, a team player, no pretense…all about work ethic.
One summer in the mid-’80′s a talented Westport McGuire Cup team (coached by Rich Hiltz and Tom Bolster) made a good run in the state tournament. A semifinal match against a stacked Ridgefield side turned into a 6-3 (strange score) victory for the Tigers. I watched the match with Dennis. At one point in the 2nd half, a Westport player megged an opponent. The game was already out of reach for us. I tried to make “a big deal” out of the meg. Dennis’ response: “Jem, how many goals is a nutmeg worth?” His message was always precise and to the point. Flash and flair carried little weight without the appropriate substance.
I can still hear the words “That’s not good enough, boys!” when I go for a casual run. I then try to pick up the pace.
Dennis was a very important part of my and my brother Jono’s upbringing in Westport — and that extended far beyond soccer. How fortunate all of us in the Staples community were to have him in our lives.
Message from Jody Grose
January 8, 2016 6:36 PM
My thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family. I went to Coleytown Jr High and Staples with Murph. Saddened to hear this news. I remember him fondly.
Message from Jeanie Bacharach Burke
January 8, 2016 4:32 PM
I am so very sorry to hear of Dennis' passing. I have such great memories of him when I was growing up--both on the soccer field and in the warm and welcoming Murphy house. He always made me laugh while slightly terrifying me as well. It was clear how much he loved his family and how loved he was in return. I always knew Terri and I were safe when Dennis was around and I always felt so "cool" to be able to be around him. He was larger than life and you couldn't help but get swept up in his wild and wonderful world. My prayers are with all of you at this very difficult time. But I know that he will continue to watch over all of you and may he and Mr Murphy have the most joyous reunion. All my love to each one of you-
Message from john tedesco
January 8, 2016 12:00 PM
wow we will miss murph a great person and friend. always made us laugh. prayers to the Murphy family.
Message from Joan McCarthy
January 8, 2016 8:52 AM
May the road rise up to greet you!
Message from Steve Goepel
January 8, 2016 8:34 AM
We have lost a great man, father, husband, coach and friend. To all of us who knew Dennis, we know there will now be voids in our lives that cannot possibly be filled. His passion for soccer and his calling to coach was a marriage that manifested itself in hundreds of young men (and a few lucky women) being treated to his coaching, enthusiasm, dedication, discipline and blueprint for soccer, competition and success that was such a treasure to them all. My son and daughter were so fortunate to have played for Murph, and it is absolutely inconceivable to imagine not having had Dennis in their lives, soccer and otherwise. Everyone who played for Murph or who coached with him or against him knew the magnificent touch that he possessed. We were among the lucky ones that were in his locker room and, to a much greater extent, lucky to be in his life as a true friend. My love, admiration and thanks for and to Dennis is limitless. He will be missed on every field that he graced, athletic and in life, and he will live on in our memories forever. Thanks Murph. Goeps
Message from Barbara-Anne (Birtwell) Foley
January 7, 2016 8:59 PM
To All of the Murphy Family,
I am so incredibly saddened and sorry to hear of your son and Brother's death. I am the wife of John Foley from Westport CT and I met Dennis through my husband on Softball Fields and often chatted about soccer with him. John's sister Ann turned 60 today and I think of her as so young still as I am the Council on Aging in Harwich, MA. and work with many seniors well into their 90's and 100's-I am so sorry he got sick so young. My husband John was ordained a Deacon in the Catholic Church 8 years ago, please know we will pray for Dennis's soul and for all of you-his amazing family. Hopefully you will have some solace knowing "Big Murph" is welcoming him "home". God Bless, Barbara-Anne
Message from Deacon John Foley
January 7, 2016 8:57 PM
Although I have been gone from Westport for over 30 years I fondly remember some great times with Dennis and all the Murphy's. Soccer games, The Bridge, Road trips and plenty of great laughs. I am so sorry to you all for your loss. I will remember Dennis as a caring and loyal friend to many, husband, father and brother. I will pray for his soul and all his family and friends. God Bless. Peace
Message from Cliff Cuseo
January 7, 2016 7:18 PM
My deepest condolences to Dennis and all of his immediate Family and Friends. It was an honor knowing him in his youth and he was an inspiration to many of us growing up. I was pleased to read that he continued wearing that role throughout his life.
Prayers of Strength and Guidance to his family and loved ones.
Peace & Harmony!
Message from Ola
January 7, 2016 4:38 PM
Kate, Jill, Shane and the entire Murphy family please accept my condolences on Dennis' passing. May the Lord comfort you and guide you in this time. I have had the privilege of hearing some of his work stories and incorporate that wisdom in my work. May his soul rest in peace.
Message from Andrew Cornish
January 7, 2016 10:59 AM
Dear Murphy Family -
I was one of Dennis's players in the early-to-mid eighties at in Westport and at Staples. I learned through Dennis that you could always work a little harder, dig a little deeper and that this would usually give you the result for which you had hoped - or at least that you would be able to hold your head high at the end of the day. It was a lesson that served me in life as well as soccer. My sincere condolences at the loss of a great person.
Andy Cornish - Jackson, WY
Message from Maureen Curran
January 6, 2016 10:06 PM
Dear Murphy family,
I knew Dennis, aka Murph, back in the early 80's when he was roommates with my boyfriend. Oh the laughs that were had. Dennis was a kind, kind person with a zest for life. This news has hit me hard as we had not been in touch for many years. Heaven gained a great one this week and the fun up there has only just begun.
The entire Murphy family is in my thoughts and prayers at what must be a very difficult time given his large persona.
With Deepest Symapthy,
Message from Mark Boyle
January 6, 2016 5:41 PM
So sorry for the Murphy family and especially his wife and kids. Dennis was a great cousin and will be missed.
Message from Rita Mangini-White & Family
January 6, 2016 5:11 PM
Dearest Kate, Shane & Jillian, Our sincerest condolences to you at this difficult time. I know Dennis' fight was a gallant one. May your memories of him bring you the strength you need as you work to move forward. May the love and prayers of family and friends be a source of comfort for you all. With much love, Rita, Tony & family
Message from Sandy Wansker Winnick
January 6, 2016 3:16 PM
My heart goes out to all family friends. We moved into the neighborhood when I was 5. The Murphy family was a strong presence, with Dennis the front runner. My brother Chip played sports with these Murphy brothers, as i watched on the sidelines in awe of them all. I treasure the times we all had, and the memories we made. I'm deeply saddened to hear this news. Sending much love, Sandy Wansker Winnick
Message from Teresa Alfers
January 6, 2016 11:38 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I truly enjoyed working with Murph a few years back. Such a sad loss to hear about. You will be missed, Murph.
Message from Mike Larney
January 6, 2016 10:00 AM
So sorry to see this news on FB. My heart goes to out to his family, it is so sad to lose someone so young and still full of life. He surely had plenty of gusto when he was a kid that is for sure! I have lots of fond memories from the Loren lane backyard, the baseball diamond as he beaned me with a fastball or Lee's pond playing hockey, etc. I don't really know what else to say except that I am thinking of all of you and wish you all well. I wish I could join in the celebration of his life, which I am sure will be spirited.