Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Obituary - J. Martin "Murphy" Wolman - Class of 1937

BOULDER, COLO./ MADISON - J. Martin "Murphy" Wolman died Saturday in Boulder, Colo. on the 66th anniversary of his wedding to Anne Paley Wolman. Anne died in 2004, and Murphy moved to Colorado a year later to be with his four children. Murphy spent his entire professional career as a newspaperman at the Wisconsin State Journal, beginning in 1932 as a newsboy and retiring as publisher in 1985 at age 65. Office lore has it that Murphy was originally paid out of petty cash, and that no one has ever owned up to actually hiring him. When he returned from military service, he joined the business staff, later becoming general manager, and then publisher. He become involved with the Journal's Empty Stocking even before he was put on the payroll, and remained dedicated to it throughout his years in Madison. Earlier this summer, he told his daughter he had been dreaming of the Empty Stocking Club, but not of work. After the death of their eldest daughter, Jane in 1967, Anne and Murphy founded Youth Services Incorporated, which now runs the Empty Stocking Club. In recent years, Murphy made a donation to Youth Services, which was used to create a special fund to benefit poor schoolchildren in Southern Wisconsin. Among his many other community involvements, he was especially fond of Vilas Park Zoo, and Edgewood College. Murphy is survived by his children, Nicky Wolman, Ruth Henderson, and Lewis Wolman, all of Boulder; Jon Wolman of Detroit; and their spouses. He was a grandfather of 10, and great-grandfather of 7. He is also survived by his sister, Esther Kaplan; sisters-in-law, Ida Haaker and Estelle Wolman; brother-in-law, Meril Stein; and numerous nieces and nephews. All will remember him as the "go to" guy in the family for help or advice. Services will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009 at TEMPLE BETH EL, 2702 Arbor Drive. Donations can be made to: The Jane Wolman Memorial Youth Fund c/o Beth El Temple, 2702 Arbor Dr. Madison, WI 53711 or the "Murph and Anne Wolman Fund for Children" c/o the Madison Community Foundation, 2 Science Court, Madison, WI 53711-1088.Cress Funeral and Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on September 15, 2009

Note: The photograph accompanying this obituary is from the 1936 Orange & Black (the name for the Madison Central High School yearbook in the 1930s). It appears on a page listing the staff for the upcoming school year. The relevant excerpts from the text are here:

Mirror Announces 1936-1937 Staff Appointments

Martin "Murphy" Wolman, present business manager and member of the sports staff, will head both editorial and business departments as executive editor of the 1936-37 Mirror. Previous, the editor and business manager have been high positions in the paper. In the new executive The Mirror hopes to build for more coordination between the two staffs. he will also be in charge of make-up, working in connection with the managing editor and committee of copyreaders.

Central Journalists Honored

Martin Wolman, because he spent hours -- tedious as well as interesting and valuable -- in directing, soliciting, and planning copy for advertisements; because he did a good job reporting sports; because he was always willing to help out in any department.

J. Martin "Murphy" Wolman's Class year is based on information from the 1937 Orange & Black yearbook, where his photograph is among those of the graduating seniors. You may view the page with his senior photograph, as well as the rest of the 1937 yearbook, on the Central Alumni Flickr photostream.

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