Staff Report for The Island Eye News
Thomas Frederick “Tom” Murph, who served the Isle of Palms in a variety of volunteer and official positions and was even a “friend of Santa,” passed away Sept. 29 at the age of 74.
An IOP resident since 1969, Murph served on the town’s volunteer Fire Department and was assistant chief for 10 years. He spent eight years on the City Council and was mayor pro tem, police commissioner and a member of various committees, including Ways and Means, Engrossed Bills, Recreation, Planning and the Water Commission.
Murph was one of the founders of Friends of Santa, a charitable organization that helped families in need East of the Cooper and served as its president for three years. He and his wife, Beth, helped start the East Cooper Dance Club.
A graduate of Orangeburg High School, Murph attended Wingate College and the University of Georgia. A member of the National Guard from 1968 to 1974, he established Pelican Dry Cleaners and also was with Wild Dunes Real Estate and Beachside Real Estate.
Murph was preceded in death by his parents, William Frederick Murph and Louise Haddock Murph. He is survived by his wife, Beth Hart Murph; a son, Todd Frederick Murph; and grandchildren Hope and Hunter. He is also survived by his sister, Billie Murph Parker. A celebration of life will be planned at a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic