US Marine Corps

Dennis J Murphy

January 8, 1932 ~ August 28, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Major General Dennis J. Murphy, USMC (Ret.) passed away on August 28, 2023, in Wyckoff, New Jersey with family holding his hands. Dennis was predeceased by his two sons Steven and Brian. The Murphy men are together again in heaven.

Dennis is survived by the love of his life, Dorothy. They were to celebrate their 69th Wedding Anniversary on September 11th. Together they traveled the world, moved 35 times, and created a family that stands tall and proud. He is survived also by his daughter Grace Marie (Jack), his daughters-in-law Lise and Kelly Murphy, his grandchildren Ashley, Sarah, Connor, William, Kyle, Madden, and Sean. He has nine great grandchildren who are so lucky to have known their Great Grandpa. He was a faithful servant of the church, an amazing Dad, and an exceptional Marine. 

Dennis was born January 8, 1932, in the Bronx, New York. He was a graduate of Cardinal Hayes High School and then Georgetown University, where he wore number 14 for four years as a starter on the Hoyas men’s basketball team. 

He was almost too tall, but he went into the Marine Corps just out of college and took his bride away from NY for quite the ride of their lives. Dennis served 34 years in his beloved Marines Corps, commissioning in 1953 as an infantry leader of Marines. Along the way he completed the U.S. Army Ranger School, Amphibious Warfare School and earned a master’s degree from The George Washington University. His service included combat leadership in Vietnam and operational and staff assignments, including Commanding Officer of The Basic School, and ultimately, as the Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  

General Murphy was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" and Gold Star, the Purple Heart Medal, the Korean Cheonsu Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and several other awards and campaign medals.

Many said they would, and did, follow Dennis into any fire fight. 

He was wise counsel to all he encountered. He was incredibly well read and passed an enthusiastic love of crosswords to his children and grandchildren. He was smart, sharp, and selfless in service to God, his family, and this nation.

The passing of this Murphy giant leaves a giant hole in all of our hearts.

A funeral mass will be held on September 16, 2023, at 2:00 pm in St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, 700 Wyckoff Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ.

Military Honors will take place at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, at a future date.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to Semper Fi America’s Fund,,  825 College Blvd, Suite 102 PMB 609 Oceanside, CA 92057. or The Pine Haven Boys Center,, 133 River Road P.O. Box 162, Suncook, NH 03275.


Military Biography of Major General Dennis J. Murphy, USMC (Ret.)

General Murphy was born January 8, 1932, in New York City. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1953 with a B.S.S. degree in History and Government. In 1973 he earned a master’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University. 

He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in December 1953. In his early career he served as a Rifle Platoon Commander, participating in vertical assault development and in atomic bomb tests. He qualified in Army Ranger training, served as a Series Commander at the Recruit Depot, San Diego and commanded the Marine Detachment on the aircraft carrier Bennington (CVA-20). He commanded a Rifle Company and the Anti-Tank Company in the 1st Marine Brigade in Hawaii from 1961 to 1964. 

After completing Amphibious Warfare School and the Nuclear Weapons Employment Course, he served in the Operations Section of the Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic. In July 1967 he was assigned as the Executive Officer of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines in Vietnam. He later served as Operations Officer of the 3rd Marine Regiment (Reinforced) operating along the DMZ in Vietnam until July 1968. 

After completing the Marine Corps Command and Staff College he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, where he served as the Ground Lieutenant Colonel Monitor and as Head, Ground Officer Control Unit, Personnel Department until August 1972. 

He completed the National War College in June 1973, and subsequently reported to the 3d Marine Division on Okinawa. He served as Commanding Officer, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines and later commanded Battalion Landing Team 2/9 in Australia until June 1974. 

He then served as the Special Assistant and Marine Corps Aide to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. In September 1976, he returned to Quantico as Head, Leadership Instruction Department. In August 1977, he assumed command of The Basic School. While serving in this capacity, he was selected for promotion to brigadier general. 

He was advanced to that grade in July 1979 and assigned as Assistant Division Commander, 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, NC. General Murphy was assigned duty as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans, Korean/U.S. Combined Forces Command, Seoul, Korea in July 1980. In July 1982, General Murphy was assigned as Deputy Commander, Fleet Marine Forces, Pacific in Hawaii. He was advanced to major general on March 1983, and assigned as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower/Director, Personnel Management Division at Headquarters Marine Corps in June 1983. He assumed command of the 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, NC in August 1984. He continued in that command until his retirement in November 1987. 

He retired to Norfolk, VA where he served as Executive Director, Hampton Roads Naval Historical Foundation until February 2003. 


Funeral Mass
September 16, 2023

2:00 PM
St. Elizabeth RC Church
700 Wyckoff Avenue
Wyckoff, NJ 07481

Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
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In Loving Memory Of

Dennis Murphy

January 8, 1932-August 28, 2023

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have shared

Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   

Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Online Event


In Loving Memory Of

Dennis Murphy

January 8, 1932-August 28, 2023

Look inside to read what others have shared

Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


Semper Fi America's Fund
825 College Blvd, Suite 102 PMB 609, Oceanside CA 92057

The Pine Haven Boys Center
133 River Road, P.O. Box 162, Suncook NH 03275


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