Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

February 5, 2015

Brian Murphy, 1964-2015

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government,City Council,Deaths — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 3:44 pm

Feb 5, 2015 – I am stunned upon hearing of the unexpected death of a friend – Brian Murphy, Assistant City Manager for Community Development and former Cambridge City Councillor (2002-2009) – an essential person in the civic life of Cambridge. I simply have no words to express my grief. – RW

It with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Brian Murphy, Assistant City Manager for Community Development. Brian was a dedicated husband and father, and a close personal friend to so many of us in this City.

We mourn the sudden loss of our colleague and friend and our thoughts and support go out to Brian’s family at this time.

Employees will be notified of funeral arrangements, once they are determined.

I recognize that we all deal with grief in a very personal way. I encourage you utilize the services available through our Employee Assistance Program.

Brian MurphyI wrote in February 2011 – just 4 short years ago: "As was noted in a Late Order at the February 7 City Council meeting, former City Councillor Brian Murphy will soon take the reins as Assistant City Manager in charge of the Community Development Department. I met at length with Brian when he first ran for City Council (2001). I suggested that he attend the Budget Hearings to learn more about City government and meet all the players in the City administration. Brian attended every one of those hearings. As a councillor, he then chaired the Finance Committee. He and David Maher were also the prime players among the elected officials in negotiating with Harvard in their major Riverside development a few years ago. You have to respect a guy who actually shows up and does his job, and I’m sure Brian will be a popular hands-on manager at Community Development."" – Robert Winters

Brian P. Murphy, Esq. of Cambridge, suddenly February 5, 2014. Beloved husband of Katherine (Champion). Loving father of Molly K. and Joseph C. Dear son of the late Joseph G., Esq. and Mary T. (Keaney) Murphy. Visiting hours in the Sullivan Chamber of the Cambridge City Hall, 795 Mass Ave. on Wednesday 3-7pm. Funeral mass in St. Paul’s Church Bow & Arrow Sts. Cambridge Thursday at 10:00am. Complete notice to follow. [Obituary & Guestbook]

Funeral Home
Brown & Hickey Funeral Home
36 Trapelo Road
Belmont, MA
Map / Directions
Sullivan Chamber of the Cambridge City Hall
795 Mass Ave 
Cambridge, MA
Map / Directions
Wednesday, February 11, 2015;
St. Paul’s Church
Bow & Arrow Sts.
Cambridge, MA
Map / Directions
Thursday, February 12, 2015;
Cambridge Cemetery
76 Coolidge Ave
Cambridge,  MA  US  02138
Map / Directions
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Brian Murphy (2003)
Brian Murphy in 2003


  1. I am so sorry and surprised to hear of Brian Murphy’s death. He worked very hard for the city both as Councilor and Assistant City Manager. I’m very sorry for his wife and children as well.

    Comment by Lee Farris — February 5, 2015 @ 5:58 pm

  2. This is horrid news. Brian was on the founding board of TROMP. I campaigned with him when he was a City Councilor, love his wife Kate and his sweet children Molly and Joseph. My heart and prayers to all his family, associates and thousands of colleagues who admired, respected and loved him.

    Comment by Rozann Kraus — February 6, 2015 @ 10:09 am

  3. As a boyhood friend of Brian’s I am stunned and in grief at his passing. He was good at his job, but he was good at life. What a joyful soul and wonderful person. Shock and emptiness over his passing. So sorry for all of us who knew him and deeply sorry for his family. Too soon for a great, great person.

    Comment by Chris Hannan — February 6, 2015 @ 10:28 am

  4. This was sad and shocking news. As a Roxbury Latin classmate of Brian’s, he was a spark and connector among our rather diverse and atypical RL class. He was first among us into politics and civic leadership, and clearly much accomplished and much loved in that role. Accomplishing both is rather unique in that world. Raising a glass for you, Brian, and my heartfelt condolences to Brian’s wife and children.

    Comment by Daniel Mackay — February 6, 2015 @ 10:56 am

  5. I knew Brian from law school. He and I were in a study group together. My first memory of Brian was in a crim law class discussing a case about a drug user that this guy with a big beard, twinkle in his eye, laughter in his voice, and a hint of Boston in his accent described as “self-medicating.” I had to laugh, and it seems I never stopped laughing whenever I was around him after that. I admired his passion and the way he pursued them forsaking a lucrative career at a big law firm for political office. I loved his openness. (He and I both were passionate about our politics, but we didn’t agree on much. With Brian, you could disagree agreeably.) I’m inspired by how well he used his time on this Earth and by how many people his life touched. I’m so sad for Kate, Molly, and Joseph, but I’m hopeful that the memory of his strong love for them will carry them through this difficult time.

    Comment by Mike Connors — February 6, 2015 @ 11:55 pm

  6. I am extremely saddened by the untimely passing of my boyhood friend and Roxbury Latin School classmate, Brian Murphy. A life filled with a love of family, public service and dedication to the City of Cambridge, Brian’s keen wit and intellect was only trumped by his loyalty to and compassion for the ones he loved and admired. He often spoke of his family at our quinquennial gatherings at our one true school; and I offer my most sincere condolences to his children, Molly and Joe; and especially to his most dedicated bride, Kathy. Family obligations, distance and and the business of life caused our chats to become more and more infrequent; but please take with you the fact that you were loved and admired by this kid from Dorchester, who benefitted from your friendship and kind words over the years in ways you never knew. Our commitment to catch-up soon will now have to wait — and I am disappointed in myself for that; but know that I do look forward to another chat of politics and agenda in that next place, whenever that time may be. For now, rest in peace Brian…Jeff

    Comment by Jeff Weaver — February 7, 2015 @ 8:31 am

  7. I didn’t know Brian personally but I know he worked hard for our city. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to his wife and children, family and friends. What a tragic loss. I hope they are able to find comfort knowing that the city is also mourning the loss of Brian.

    Comment by Victoria Helberg — February 7, 2015 @ 5:34 pm

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