Patrick Sean Murphy

Sometimes, you learn the most about someone from the silence. From what people who knew them best do not say. With Patrick Sean Murphy, they don't talk about his job much, as successful as he was.

No, those closest to him emphasize other pieces of his life. Because he did. They all say he had three loves: his family, basketball and fishing.

Summer weekends at the family cottage in Beach Haven, N.J., would find Mr. Murphy, 36, fishing on the 20-footer named Nothin' But Net. Because, though only 5- foot-9, he could drop a basketball into a net without hitting the rim.

Mr. Murphy, a vice president at Marsh & McLennan, formed basketball leagues. He was a regular at Knicks games. He even taught his daughter, Maggie, only 2 years old, to dribble (with both hands).

But he wasn't dogmatic. His son, Sean, 4, somehow wasn't charmed by basketball, so father and son would find projects. They'd fix things around the house in Millburn, N.J. They'd search Internet sites for information about trucks, Sean's passion, and Mr. Murphy would bookmark them.

'He enjoyed his success,' said his wife, Vera. 'But Patrick had a motto. He'd say he worked to live. He didn't live to work.'

(Copyright (c) 2001 by The New York Times Co. Reprinted by permission.)

Family Text:

This is the letter that my brother, Joe, read on my behalf at Patrick's memorial service. Patrick loved working at Marsh with many colleagues on the Placement Project team and especially with his good friends Vince Galucci and Martha Davis Mangold. Thank you all for remembering Patrick and taking good care of me and our children, Sean and Maggie.

-Vera Murphy, Patrick's wife-

Patrick and I met 12 years ago on a blind date that our friend Stu set up. It was my first, and last, blind date. It made me feel special when he told everyone who asked that as soon as he met me he knew that he would marry me.

I loved his sense of humor, the twinkle in his eye, the way he spoke with me... We shared our hopes and dreams of the future. He was so funny we laughed all the time. He had such a quick wit and saw humor in every situation. We shared many public and private jokes. I once confided to him what I dreamed my engagement ring would look like. When he gave me that ring, it was the happiest day of my life.

Life in New York was filled with friends and good times. Patrick started each day with a smile, and 'filled the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds of distance run'. He was passionate about the things he loved, like his pick-up basketball games. His motto was 'Shoot that, I would!' His 'doo-rag' and 3-point shot were welcome on courts around the city. Patrick's career was exciting to him, and he enjoyed success. But he always vowed that he 'worked to live' never 'lived to work'. We bought our beach house in Beach Haven, intending to summer there with our family, and eventually retire there. We'd spend each weekend day on our boat. He named the boat 'Nothin'But Net''. We would fish the bay and enjoy the peace of being together on the water in the sunshine.

Then came Sean, and Maggie. Sean and Patrick were pals. They would be our 'handymen' around the house, and loved grocery shopping together. Patrick was teaching him how things worked on the Internet. Sean's blue eyes flashed with excitement when Daddy would take him into town to see his favorite recycling trucks or magically fix things that seemed impossible to fix.

Maggie was pure sunshine to Patrick. He loved her sweet disposition. She loved playing ball with him, and the two of them shared a mischievious sense of adventure. Patrick was thrilled when we recently took Sean and Maggie for a fast boat ride and Maggie shrieked 'Faster, Daddy!!!', her beautiful blond hair flying in the wind. Patrick made us know every day that our family was what he loved most.

As passionate as Patrick was about his loves, he felt just as strongly about his beliefs. We would have probably argued, but I know he would have advocated the course of justice, not blind retaliation, for the unspeakable crime which stole him from us.

The pain of Patrick's loss is unbearable, but Sean and Maggie and I are comforted that we are so loved by our family and by so many friends. Patrick always loved a full house, delighting in hosting holiday dinners or serving one of his masterpiece birthday cakes to the kids. I would ask each of you to please be comfortable about sharing your stories of Patrick with Sean and Maggie, so they will grow to learn the wonderful man their Daddy was.

I am compiling these stories in a Memory Book which, I am sure, will be loved by Sean and Maggie forever. If you would like to write a story for the memory book, please send it to me

Vera Murphy

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I was Patrick’s fifth grade teacher 46 years ago at Dutch Neck School and I remember Patrick with great fondness. He was an all-around great guy. What I remember most was his enthusiasm for anything and everything that we did. He was smart, popular, engaging and truly a fun person to be around. His smile was broad and he shared it often. My deepest condolences to his family and friends at the tragic and untimely loss of a very special man.
Joyce Nyberg, Friend
Sep 11 2021 4:35PM
The post below from James reminded me of Patrick's saying "I work to live, I do not live to work". He told us that when we invited him to have drink after work. He informed us that his priority is his family; and his time away from his family was to play hoops with his friends. Those words have resonated with me throught the past 20 years. He knew what was important in life. When things are crazy at work, his words come to me to this day and I follow his lead. May you rest in peace Patrick.
, Colleague
Sep 13 2021 8:35PM
Vera, As I am watching the 20th anniversary of that fateful day, I was reminded of Patrick. We were co-workers at Morgan Stanley. I will always remember Patrick’s smile and optimism. I hope you and your family are well. I will never forget Patrick’s smile.
Rosa Ramos-Kwok, Colleague
Sep 11 2021 2:32PM
Going to shoot hoops tonight…….wish you were playing the point……….peace and love homey………never forget your heart.
James odorczuk, Friend
Jul 20 2021 9:06PM
Those Friday night hoop pick ups in the city were so fun. no one played harder than Patrick. All the best to your entire beautiful family and nothing but net.........
james odorczuk, Friend
Sep 11 2020 1:33PM
I graduated with Timmy and our last names were next to each other alphabetically so we had lockers, seats, etc together. I remember Patrick being the typical kid brother to Timmy. Always excited for his theatrical productions, proud of him and a great supportive family. I remember Patrick had a great head of hair. He was so cute as a little brother.
Melissa Murray Mckown, Friend
Jul 14 2019 7:41PM
I was his next door neighbor in Princeton Jct . He was younger but I remember him as a good kid with an infectious smile and he laughed a lot. I knew his older two brothers(Tom and Tim) better and went to grade school and some high school with them and their sister Lori. Our world today is so far from our world back in West Windsor. Very sad to hear about Patrick. God's blessings on his family. K.S. MacGregor
Kenn MacGregor, Friend
Sep 26 2018 10:30AM
Dear Vera, I'm in NYC on this 17th anniversary & thinking of you, Sean & Maggie as I do often but more today. I was blessed to meet Patrick through Bruce, his childhood friend, & venture the city on double dates with the two of you! Including a few Knicks games! All I remember is how much Patrick adored you! I remember the twinkle in his eyes whenever he saw or spoke of you. He knew he was the luckiest man to have found you! I also recall visiting you in Millburn after you started your family. Frankly, you were a role model for the family life I wanted in my future. Patrick was always patient & understanding with Sean & Maggie. And any mishaps in child-rearing or everyday family life, he relished with humor! He came once to LA on a business trip & Bruce & I met up with him. He was always filled with a positive spirit - a wide smile & knowing chuckle. I remember this day in 2001, watching the event on television in our Topanga home & waiting for a call from a mutual friend if Patrick made it out. Even 24 hours later, we still held out hope that he would walk home or was in a nearby hospital. It just all seemed surreal! How could this be happening to such a sweet man & his family. I finally went to visit the 9/11 memorial with my son, Nicholas, last summer. He' s now 16 & his birth was the only bright spot after 6 months of continuous funerals including Patrick's. I told him about Patrick, you, Maggie & Sean & also about his close friendship with Bruce. I ran around the memorial to find his name & point it out to my son. When I finally found it, I burst into tears! I didn't expect the raw emotion after so many years had passed. I can't imagine how you & his family hold up even now! Know that I think of you often & pray! Your husband & your kids' father was a true hero & patriot! If you ever want to reconnect, here is my email:
Loly Hlade, Friend
Sep 11 2018 10:48PM
Visited the memorial sight this May and took a photo of some names to google later. My wife and I are from South Africa and found the sight unbelievable with so many untold stories and memories lost and families torn apart. We will never forget that day that changed the world. From all the names I most certainly picked the person which I can relate to. Really pray that your family is blessed.
Attie Barnard, Friend
Dec 22 2016 4:47PM
Dear Vera, Sean, and Maggie, I knew Patrick as an undergraduate at The University of Virginia. The first time I met him, he was in penny loafers (no socks, of course), Levi's, a polo shirt, and a denim jacket. What struck me most was his beautiful smile, and his genuine kindness. I don't remember if we were introduced, or if we just started talking, but he was a kind, kind man, and I have never forgotten him. We remained friends all 4 years in school. Although I hadn't seen him for many years, my heart broke for you, his family, when I learned he had been lost. What a huge loss not only to you, but to anyone that would have ever met him. I remember Patrick, and think of you all often, when I think of 9/11, or visit UVA. Two of my brothers, and my nephew, have served in the U.S. Military since Patrick's death. Before each was deployed, I told them about my friend, and gave them a 'picture' of whom they were fighting for, and what they were fighting about. My thoughts and prayers are with you always. May God bless you. P.S. When I see a dark-haired young man in Levi's and a denim jacket, I always do a double-take- just to remember...
Chevella Heslep Russell, Friend
May 19 2013 8:52PM
On this 11th anniversary of 9/11 I am thinking of Patrick and my prayers are with his families. Patrick was one of the 'good guys' from a very loving family. I was a friend of Tim's while living in Los Angeles and I remember going to Cucamonga with Tom and Lori “such a funny name I thought -so whenever I hear 'Cucamonga' I always think of the Murphy's. When I moved to NY ' Patrick was there for me showing me around Manhattan and taking me with him on visits to Tom and Lori's in NJ. My favorite trip was when we all went to visit Princeton. I'll never forget when our friend Rebeca called me to tell me 'we lost Patrick' I was stunned - no not Patrick!! I will always remember how his mega-watt smile lit up a room and he had such a gentle spirit. And though he leaves his families and friends here it is comforting to know he is with Tim in Heaven and together they can look down watching lovingly over all of us....God Bless the Murphy families!
Shauna Sickinger McKinney, Friend
Sep 11 2012 12:48PM
I didn't go to school with Patrick, but I'm currently going to school with his son, Sean. He puts a smile on your face, and stays strong in the midst of any crisis. My heart goes out for the Murphys, and for all victims and families.
Ronnie Levinson, Colleague
Dec 13 2011 11:10PM
I had known Patrick his whole life he parents and mine were great friends when they lived in Milford CT my brother Andrew and Patrick are the same age and they both loved sports I remember doing some trips with the murphys and patrick sleeping over my house in milford ct on Noble ave I lite a candle for Patrick every 911 and this year was no different the nite before my family and I attend a relay for life cancer walk my mother has been cancer free for many years and one of the laps was a 911 lap and I said out loud this is for you Patrick he will always be rememeber by the Bristol family love always Alison Bristok
Alison Bristol, Friend
Sep 13 2011 12:30PM
Vera - Patrick's memory is very much alive and a part of our lives, we continue to keep him in our thoughts and prayers not only today on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 but also throughout the year. I have many very happy memories of Patrick - he would bring energy and light up any room or conversation he was in. He was smart and funny, and quietly confident in everything he did. He had a very strong sense of friendship and family. We honor Patrick today, and will keep him and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Best regards, Kelly
Kelly Murphy, Friend
Sep 11 2011 11:57PM
Our thoughts and prayers are with you on this day. We lived doors down from Patrick and his family in Princeton Jct, NJ during the 70's. The Murphy family was truly a wonderful family. Patrick will truly be missed.
The Allen Family, Friend
Sep 11 2011 11:24PM
Vera, I remember you guys lived 3 houses down from me in Millburn. I saw Sean read Patrick's name today on TV and saw how much he's grown. I will never forget how warm and welcoming Patrick was. May Patrick continue to rest in peace and may god bless him, you, and your children. Pari Asokan from Millburn, NJ
Pari Asokan, Friend
Sep 11 2011 7:46PM
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family to day. Patrick was my First Cousin once removed.
Raymond O'Connor, Family
Sep 11 2011 4:51PM
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family to day.
Raymond O'Connor., Family
Sep 11 2011 3:52PM
Vera: You and I worked together at White & Case (I was summer associate) and I was a friend of Patrick's from undergrad at UVa. On this tough 10th anniversary of 9/11, you, Patrick, and your family have been very much in my thoughts and prayers. Best regards, Dave Burke
Dave Burke, Friend
Sep 11 2011 2:53PM
Vera- I've been thinking about Patrick, you, Sean and Maggie with the 10th anniversary of 9 11 this week. Jeffrey, now 17, and I were talking about you all last week. Hope you are well. Our thoughts will be with you and your family on Sunday. Adam
Adam Batt, Friend
Sep 7 2011 6:24AM
Well it's Tuesday September 6, 2011 (the day after Memorial Day) and in just 5 days our family and friends will mark our 10th year without my 'little brother' Patrick that I miss very much. We are all preparing to head for NYC to attend the commemoration ceremony associated with the 10th anniversary of that fateful day - 9/11/2001 -- and have our initial first-hand exposure to the brand new Memorial and Museum. Having watched some of the documentaries on television the last few day leading up to the commemoration ceremony, I know this will be a very emotional day for all of us. The ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. The reading of the names will begin after the first citywide moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. - and Patrick's son Sean (hard to imagine that he is now 14 years old and in his freshman year of high school) will be reading his father's name. After the second moment of silence at 9:03 a.m., family members will be able to access the Memorial and see their loved ones’ names inscribed in bronze for the first time. I'm looking forward to spending this time with Keri, Mom, Dad, Lori-jean, Tony, Vera, Sean, Maggie and Andy. And most of all - spending this time very close to Patrick and remembering some of our good times together as brothers ... I would have liked to attach to this entry the picture of Patrick and I that I keep close as a reminder of some of the special times he and I had together fishing. Pat -- I miss you very much and you'll forever be on my mind ... -- Patrick's big brother Tom -- Tom Murphy Gainesville, Virginia
Tom Murphy, Family
Sep 6 2011 6:37AM
Just remembering Patrick today your old friends in Milford CT The Bristols
Alison Bristol Spears, Friend
Sep 11 2009 4:59PM
Just was thinking of you Patrick on this 7 yr anniversary RIP The Bristol Family Milford CT
Alison Bristol Spears, Friend
Sep 11 2008 2:43PM
Hi Vera, I was at the Knicks game the other night for the first time in a long time, so Patrick has been on my mind a lot for the last few days. I wanted to call to say hi, but the last number I have for you seems to have changed, and the number I have for your brother seems to have changed too. I'd love to hear from you (, and I hope that you and Sean and Maggie have a great Christmas. Waldo
Danny Alter, Friend
Dec 21 2007 1:23PM
Patrick is always in our thoughts God Bless Your friends in Milford CT Charlie Gayanne Alison Andrew Alexis Amy Bristol and our families
Alison Bristol Spears, Friend
Sep 11 2007 2:26PM
Vera, We have never formerly met, however I heard so much about you and the kids from Pat every Friday Night at the Basketball Pick Up Games. Pat and I would walk to Penn Station on those nights, and all he spoke of was his family!! I wish you and your family the best. And boy....could he shoot that Three Point Shot!!! : ) Wes
Wesley Henderson, Colleague
Sep 11 2007 10:37AM
Vera, On every 9/11 for the past 5yrs I remember your husband I have none Patrick probably his whole life His parents and mine were good friend when they lived in Milford CT ( Sean and Maggie your daddy was one of my brotheers best friends and mine too)My parents names are Gayanne and Charles Bristol and my name is Alison I was sitting here at work and said that every year I light a candle for Patrick and tell my children about him and why I light the candle not only vor Patrick but for them all that died that day I am looking at his picture and he looks like I remembered I also tell my children a bout timmy and how this family has had so much loss and that isnt fair When my parents received the email from Lori and Tom your in laws a month later I couldnt believe it and I said to my parents what do you say and what do you do and she said you say what you say and you pray for him and that is what we did and still do I just happened to see if their was anyhting on patrick on the internet and I found this and I am so glad that I did i just wanted to tell you that the Bristol Family in Milford Ct remember you yor children Lori Tommy and Lori and Tom Please let them know that you heard from us and you all our in our prayers today and everyday God Bless Alison Bristol Spears
Alison Bristol Spears, Friend
Sep 11 2006 11:18AM
Dear Vera I just visited New York for the first time and though I spent 5 days in art museums and art shows the most powerful image I saw was your child's ' I remember riding on daddy's shoulders' at the WTC site. I can't get it out of my mind, I spent hours searching the internet for the name of the child who painted it so I could put a name and face to her dad. I'm a fifty year old grandfather who still remmembers riding on daddy's shoulders. May God bless you
Michael Stephen Delatte, Friend
Mar 19 2006 11:33AM
Vera - No relations. Amazing really how this tribute has and is effecting people. For sure in a hopeful and positive way for me, very sad too. You can imagine why I decided to open Patrick's site. (during a MMC search) I am always being complimented on my name Patrick Michael Sullivan, and my son Conor Patrick. I can say that whenever I look at my son I will remember this site and all that I read, and will pray for your family. Keep the great memories alive, and live too. God bless
Patrick Sullivan, Friend
Aug 22 2005 4:49PM
When I moved to West Windsor in May 1976, I was in the fifth grade. It was tough moving during the school year, but fortunately, in my fifth grade class (Mr. Williams/Mrs. Nyberg), Patrick was one of my classmates. So I knew your husband (and Sean and Maggie, your daddy) a long time. Patrick and I were pretty good friends, not best friends, but really solid friends. I never for a moment doubted that Patrick Murphy was a friend of mine. We played sports together all through our teenage years--yes, his beloved basketball, but football as well, where Patrick was a standout linebacker (if memory serves.) You could go back and check that out. It was killer that he wasn't a tall guy, but always burned me on the basketball court. And his hair was always perfect. He really was a great guy. I knew his family pretty well, and remember with great sadness when Timmy Pat died. Patrick also thrust himself onto the stage as a thespian--I didn't have the courage to do that until after I graduated WWPHS. And I knew Patrick was going to be a professional success--he was a good student in high school, but not bookish; he had that great blend of personality and smarts that tends to be elusive. Vera, I only met you on one or two ocassions--one was at the 'Windsor Plaza' Shopping Center aka the Acme, I think when you and Patrick were engaged. And then we met one other time, maybe at our reunion ten years ago. I think you were working for White and Case. You guys were a cute couple, I remember thinking. We moved into the City on August 18, 2001, just three weeks before 9/11. I was beginning my first year at General Seminary in Chelsea. Sometime after 9/11, when the victim's families were posting 'Have you seen...' posters around town, my wife and I were walking in the Village, near 6th Avenue and 12th Street. As we passed by, my wife looked at the wall of faces and said, 'hey Bill, isn't that your friend Patick.' Sure enough, on the wall, was a poster with Patrick on it that either you or someone else had posted. Hoping for his return. I had known by then that Patrick was listed among the missing, but seeing his picture there hit me hard. Thank you for posting your memories of your husband, it allowed me to catch up some with an old friend. An old friend I miss.
Bill Feus, Friend
Sep 2 2004 6:13PM
Dear Vera: I was cleaning my office and came across a note from you (obviously, I do not clean my office often!) I can't tell you how many times you and your children have come into mind during the last three years. Somehow and quite inexcusable, I never picked up the phone to call you. Perhaps my only excuse is that it was way too painful for me to face your loss. My thoughts of you and the children, though, should not be minimized by my lack of contact with you. I decided to see if you were still at Lowenstein and stumbled across the site for Patrick which so deeply touched my heart. My recollections of you and Patrick go back so far--we were at Paul Bshorr's house for a summer associate picnic. Perhaps that was one of the first times I met Patrick. He certainly was even back then quite an impressive man. He had a distinctly warm and loving personality. Mostly, Vera, I want to tell you what I remember about you. You counseled me one day before I had to go to a senior partner's office and you 'toughened me up.' Your words were memorable. Your inner strength and insight that is such a part of you is what I can only imagine holds you up and thrusts you forward. Continue to be strong for your children. G-d knows, that is what a mother does for her childen. I hope you are well and if you get this message, I really would love to touch base live with you. (212) 819-8930. My very best to you and the children, Mara Weissmann
Mara Weissmann, Friend
Jun 29 2004 3:18PM
Dear Vera, As with the two before me, I stumbled on this site while researching MMC companies. I also picked on the 'Irish' name as I'm sending you this message from Ireland. As a husband and a father of two small boys, I was deeply touched by your tribute to Patrick Sean. Your memories of him are a model for any husband and father and for that inspiration, I thank you and Patrick Sean. My very best wishes to you, Sean and Maggie. (Nice to see the 'Irish' names have been passed on.) Karl. Note: The site insists I select one of Friend, Family or Colleague. I am none of these.
Karl Howley, Colleague
Jun 25 2003 12:07PM
Dear Vera, I just did the same thing as Cheryl... I was searching the MMC site, came across the tribute, and randomly picked your husband's strong, Irish-American name. His spirit must be as strong as his name. With sincere best wishes for you and your family, Wendy
Wendy Walsh, Friend
May 9 2003 12:30AM
Dear Vera I am a stranger to you. I happened upon this site while researching MMC for my investment club. Of all the 295 links I picked your husbands. Probably because of his beautiful name. Your tribute to him was inspiring and I just wanted to share that with you. Good luck to you and your two children
cheryl price, Friend
Oct 3 2002 6:49PM