Thursday, August 29, 2013
In his two terms on the Aiken County Board of Education from 1998-2006, Larry Murphy was dedicated to service, said Dr. Bill Gallman, the retired deputy superintendent.
Murphy, 75, died last Thursday. The funeral was held on Monday at Clearwater First Baptist Church. Gallman will serve as an honorary pallbearer.
“Larry and I continued to be good friends,” Gallman said. “He would call every month or six weeks, and we were able to stay in touch. He always tried to do what he thought was right for the people.”
Two other former Board members – Chairman Dr. John Bradley and Jack Hunter – recall that Murphy took his work with the Board seriously.
“He wanted to look out for people with problems in general and believed in constituent services,” Bradley said.
In disciplinary hearings during closed sessions, Murphy “always wanted to put students back on probation,” Bradley said. “Sometimes the rest of the Board thought that was not the appropriate thing to do, but his heart was always in the right place.
Murphy retired from the motor coach operator Southeastern Stages. Not surprisingly, he had a keen interest on transportation issues within the School District. During Murphy’s School Board tenure, Hunter said, the School District put cameras on the school buses. Some had monitors and others didn’t, although students didn’t know which buses had working cameras.
“Larry was always concerned about bus drivers and their pay and safety issues,” Hunter said.
Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard’s education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.