Whenever Beth Murphy had to travel to Manhattan for cancer treatments, her husband, Kevin, always made sure she spent the day in style.
'He always made a day of it,' she said.
They would go to lunch with colleagues at Marsh & McLennan, or gaze out at his coveted view of the Statue of Liberty from his desk on the 100th floor of Tower One. At other times they just wandered around the trade center's shopping mall before she returned home to Northport.
But sometimes her melanoma got the better of him, Beth Murphy said. Just a few months ago, 'he was crying. He said, 'You can't die.' And then he died.'
Murphy, who turned 40 the weekend before Sept. 11, was one of five siblings in a close-knit Smithtown family. After graduating from St. Anthony's High School, he attended Mount St. Mary's College in Maryland, earning a business degree in 1983. Murphy then entered the insurance industry, working for several firms before joining Sedgwick James in 1998. Marsh & McLennan bought out the company a year ago, and Murphy was kept on. He worked as an assistant vice president and was due to be promoted to vice president in October.
Although he was proud of his job - and loved to give family and friends tours of the Twin Towers - Murphy's passion was for his family.
Every evening, his two children - Connor, 7, and Caitlyn, 4, would eagerly await their father's return, collapsing into his arms as he came through the door, his wife said.
On weekends, 'he did it all,' she said, adding that friends joked she should rent him out. He took the kids to the dry cleaner, to the grocery store, on dozens of other errands. In fact, the children identified the car with him so much that she recently sold it to eliminate the painful reminder.
Murphy also is survived by his parents, Sally and Tim Murphy of Wilmington, N.C.; brothers Timothy of Smithtown, Michael of Cleveland, and Jack of Rumson, N.J., and a sister, Mary Beth Dougherty of Crestwood, in Westchester County. A memorial Mass was said in his honor Sept. 29 at Our Lady Queens of Martyrs Church in Centerport.
The family had been planning for months to take a four-day Disney cruise, using points that Murphy had accumulated on his credit card. 'We had just got the video in the mail,' his wife said yesterday, calling on her cell phone from Disney World. A friend of a friend had heard of her family's story and treated them to a weeklong trip to the theme park.
Murphy was so well-known for his generosity that some friends had nicknamed him 'St. Kevin.'
'He was one of those people that at 3 in the morning would help you out,' his wife said.
So about a week after he died in the terrorist attacks, his wife was amused to find a St. Kevin medal at the bottom of one of his drawers. A friend must have given it to him as a joke, she guesses.
She now wears it on a chain around her neck.
(c) 2001 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.www.newsday.com