Murphy James Ireland Sr., 87, a native and resident of Franklin, celebrated life and family to the fullest. On Wednesday, December 19, 2012, at 8:56 p.m., at Franklin Foundation Hospital, God said your work is done here on Earth, come home and rest eternally.
Visitation will be Thursday, December 27, 2012 at Triumph Baptist Church in Franklin, from 10 a.m. until funeral service at 1 p.m. Burial will be in the St. Jules Cemetery in Franklin.
He was the youngest son born to Joseph Ireland Sr. and Maria Foster Ireland on November 18, 1925 in Franklin, Louisiana. Murphy attended Franklin Negro Elementary and High School. After completing high school, he attended Southern University then he was drafted into the United States Navy on April 5, 1944. While serving in World War II, he was decorated with the Asiatic Pacific Ribbon and Victory Medal.
After his return, he was joined in Holy Matrimony to Flora Mae Boutte on May 28, 1951, to this union three children were born: Wanda, Murphy Jr. and Monica. They also reared four of their grandchildren in their home: LeShawn Beverly Howard, Beant’e Beverly Holmes, Andranaye Harding and Wydrick Harding until each went off to college. He loved seeing all of his grandchildren dressed for dances, proms and especially graduation.
Murphy was baptized by the late Rev. Octave Vincent and was currently serving as a faithful member of Triumph Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Carl F. Lewis Sr. He was a member of the Male Chorus and the Brotherhood. He didn’t mind sharing his wisdom with anyone he met. He worked in human services, helping many in the community with Job Corp and job placement. He later worked in masonry and then as an operator at Columbian Chemical until his retirement in 1991. Murphy J. represented many employees while serving as the UFCW/ICWUC Local 638C Vice President for over 20 years.
His need to help others in the community expanded to serving on Teche Action Board of Directors for over 24 years. During his travels he lobbied many congressional leaders on behalf of the underserved. He was active with American Legion Post 532 and Jackson Henry VFW Post 10016. He felt nothing but pride because he lived to see the election of the first African American President of the United States of America.
His memory will be cherished by his devoted wife, Flora Mae Ireland; five children: Wanda Ireland Stewart (Michael Sr.) of Baton Rouge; Murphy Ireland Jr. (Debra) of Thibodaux; Monica Ireland Harding (Dwayne); Patrick Parker (Gwendolyn), both of Franklin; and John Parker Ireland of Lubbock, Texas; two adopted children: Beulah Bowers Richardson (Karl) of Houston, Texas and Patty Jo Defiles (Donald) of Franklin. He also leaves two sisters-in-law: Mary Brown of Port Arthur, Texas and Clara Lewis of Jeanerette; and one brother-in-law: Wilbert Green of Port Arthur, Texas; 22 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; two special nieces: Jolene Ireland Perry (Darrell) and Stephanie Green Jones; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Murphy was preceded in death by his parents: Joseph Ireland Sr. and Maria Foster Ireland; and his only brother and his wife, Joseph Ireland Jr. and Joyce Verdun Ireland; mother-in-law, Louise Green; two sisters-in-law; four brothers-in-law; nieces and nephews.
Rest MJI, in the place you often spoke of “The Great Beyond.” We will meet again. What a joyous day that will be.
Jones Funeral Home of Morgan City/ Franklin/ Jeanerette is in charge of arrangements. Visit www.jones-funeral-home.com to send condolences to the family.