|12/4/2020 2:17:00 PM|
|As a former Mineral Point student, I had the privilege to have known Mr. Ron Murphy. From first to fifth grade, he was my elementary physical education teacher. When I learned of his passing on Saturday, I automatically went back to the many gym classes he taught. |
Anyone who knew me growing up knew that I was definitely NOT athletic. Heck for every common step that a kid taller than me took, (which was almost every kid) I had to almost make a sprint to keep up with them). Don't get me started on the 30 yard dash-I'm losing my breath just thinking about it.
Despite the times I struggled, I always had fun in his class because he knew that's what it was all about. He saw things in students that they didn't see in themselves. In fact there were many times he talked to my parents and told them both, "she always keeps trying. That's something to be proud of."
I also remember the days of Drivers Education. I wasn't the greatest driver, but I appreciated his patience with me as I kept practicing. One day during one of our practice drives, I was handling parallel parking on High Street right in front of the Opera House. It wasn't the greatest. He looked at me and said, "didn't your parents put round bales up to practice with." After reluctantly responding yes, he chuckled and said, "that'll you definitely have to keep practicing." Turns out parallel parking became one of my stronger suits because of that advice.
He also played euchre with my grandfather Lee before the pandemic hit. I always enjoyed hearing about it after a conversation with Grandpa.
After my dad Mark passed away a couple months ago, I went through the Mineral Point Class of 1981 yearbook. Knowing that Mr. Murphy was a football and baseball coach for many years, I couldn't help but smile and remember that my dad was one of his senior athletes.
My dad and I both had a lot of respect for him. He was one of the kindest people I've known in our community. It didn't matter who you were, he was always interested in the conversations he had with people. He always took interest in what his former students were up to. When Dad would see him in town, he always made a point to say, "tell that sweet daughter of yours what a great job she does for the paper." I'm glad to know that made my dad proud, and I thank Mr. Murphy for that.
I remember seeing Mr. Murphy at my Dad's service, and I could tell that it was hard for him too as he was a former student and athlete of his. I remember him telling me, "even though you may not see him, know that he is always proud of you kids."
I will forever be grateful to Mr. Ron Murphy for not only being a great coach, but also being a great person to all of those who knew and respected him. My many thoughs and prayers to his family and friends during this difficult time.
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