Obituary: George W. “Bill” Murphy |

Obituary: George W. “Bill” Murphy

George W. “Bill” Murphy
George W. “Bill” Murphy
Provided Photo

March 23, 1946 – January 23, 2023

George W. Murphy (aka: “Bill,” “Murph,” “T-man,” and “Gruncle”) passed away at his home in Aspen on January 23, 2023 due to heart issues. Bill was born on March 23, 1946 in Oakland, California and grew up in Sacramento. He graduated from McClatchy High School and earned a law degree from McGeorge School of Law. Shortly after passing the California Bar exam, Bill headed to Aspen, Colorado.

As a long-time Aspen local, Bill was well known in town. In all except the most extreme winter weather conditions, he could be seen walking around town in his flip-flops and a T-shirt. Bill was a private, humble and intelligent soul. If you wanted an honest opinion, Bill would give it to you with no fluff or sugar-coating. Bill may have had a crusty exterior but, like French bread, he had a warm, soft, and generous heart. A man of his word, if Bill agreed to help you, he’d be the first one there with a complete set of tools and his cooler.

Bill really disliked talking about himself. With his passing, now’s our chance to share more about his life. He was an avid alpine skier, water skier, baseball player and passionately followed Formula 1 racing. An unfortunate motorcycle accident during his high school years ended his dream of becoming a downhill ski racer but did not deter his love of skiing and the mountains.

Bill moved to Aspen where his artistic and entrepreneurial spirit thrived. He created a silk screening / T-shirt / signage business. He combined his business with a love of skiing by working at ski shows around the country, eventually assisting in the operation of such shows. Bill also was involved with the organization of the early days of Freestyle Skiing competitions. After many years of hard work, Bill was able to purchase the building where his business was located and built a rooftop home there. He later collaborated with the Obermeyer family to create the current Obermeyer Place. He was also a long time member of Aspen’s Liquor Licensing Board.

Bill loved to travel with family but often jaunted around the world solo. A modest shoulder bag and camera was all he needed. His travels included South America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Bill’s favorite destinations were China and Thailand. In Thailand he had friends who counted Bill as part of their family. He studied Chinese culture and politics, and taught himself to read and speak Chinese. His affinity for having a drink at a local bar wherever he traveled resulted in many friendships around the globe.

Bill is survived by his younger brother Bob, sister-in-law Cheri, nephew Christopher, nephew’s wife Thuy, and their children Ryan, Mia, Ava and Zoe; and was preceded in death by his father George H and mother Betty Shuhaw Murphy.

Among all who knew Bill worldwide, Bill leaves us with many great memories and stories that will be told for years to come! Cheers to you Bill! You were loved and will be missed dearly. May your adventurous journey continue in the afterlife!

Folks are encouraged to submit pictures and stories about Bill on the website.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday May 20th from 3pm to 6pm at Mi Chola in Aspen.