Man of the Year 2000
Jerome T. Murphy Class of ' 35
It was extremely sad that Jerry Murphy passed just recently and could not be with us to receive this award. We know however that he is with us in spirit and is proud of his fellow Leo men.
After graduating from St. Sabina, Jerome Timothy Murphy entered Leo in 1931 and graduated with the class of 1935. After attending Wilson Jr. College for two years, he enrolled at Chicago Kent College of Law and received his law degree in 1941.
Since then, until his retirement in 1999, he worked as a “sole practitioner”. His three attorney sons were associated with him in the Murphy Law Firm. Jerome represented many Leo graduates in legal matters.
“Jerry” prepared the first by-laws for the Leo Alumni Association and had been active in that group for over 60 years. He was class representative, speaking at the 25th and 50th reunions of his class at the Alumni Banquets. He credited the Christian Brothers of Leo with giving him the background to become successful in life.
He was always an avid sportsman, excelling at softball and golf. “Do your best with what God gave you”, was his mother’s answer when her one-armed son asked if he’d be able to play ball like the other boys. He took her advice as his motto. He became a well-known softball pitcher from 1935-1950, playing in the first night league on the southside, at Normal Stadium, pitching for “Murray Meats”. (Another classmate, Al Mahieu also played in this league.) Jerry also pitched for his Knights of Columbus team, playing in the City Championship game.
When Jerry was at Leo, he played intramural basketball for four years and gave many students their first look at the on-handed basketball shot.
He was a good golfer, shooting in the 80’s and as a one armed golfer was an inspiration to some WWII amputees to continue to play the sport. He also bowled, carrying an average in the 170’s for many years.
Music was another of his avocations, starting as a choir boy for the Leo Parish Choir. He and three friends won 1st prize singing as a quartet on the “Morris B. Sachs Amateur Hour” of local radio fame. He sang in and produced many musicals for St. Sabina, Tabor Farms (while on vacation!!!), St. Cajetan Parish and is KC Council.
He was active in K of C Cardinal Bernadin Council for over 55 years, serving as Grand Knight for 2 years and being honored as Knight of the Year.
Jerry was the 1st President of the South Side Bar Association and was their chairman for unauthorized practice of law for several years. He founded the Southwest School of Business and taught business law there for three years while building his law practice and raising ten children with his wife of 54 years, Mary Jane.
Jerry Murphy was a truly a Leo Man!!!
Hall of Fame 2000
James M. Farrell Class of ' 61
Jim Farrell retired from IBM with twenty five of service, ten as a Large Systems Customer Engineer, the rest as a Program Service Representative as Systems Engineer.
He is currently the owner of Francis Enterprises, an E-Commerce Development company.
Jim cam to Leo after three years at St. Clare of Monte Falco, and five years at St. Thomas More Grammar School.
Jim was a class officer as a freshman and sophomore. He was a member of the tennis club sophomore and junior years. As a junior and senior he was in the Student Aid program as a math/algebra tutor for under grads. He was a cheerleader in senior year. After graduating Leo, Jim divided his next five years as a student at St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota and Loyola University in Chicago, and delivering 7-up products, then Budweiser, and as a bartender. In September of 1966, he received his notice to report for induction into the Service on October 5, 1966. Like so many other Leo graduates he reported for duty and served proudly for four years. Jim attained the rank of Captain before ending his active duty. While in Vietnam as a combat platoon leader, he had the honor of serving in one of our greatest regiments, the 22nd Infantry Regiment. He considers it Leo’s regiment, since its motto is “Deeds not Words”. During his tour of duty Jim’s heroic actions earned him the Bronze Star for Valor. Jim is a member of the 22nd Infantry Regiment Society and the 25th infantry Division Association. He is involved in a project to locate everyone that served in his infantry company while it was in Vietnam.
Jim continued his education after getting out of the Army. He received a Bachelor of Electronics Engineering Technology from DeVry Institute of Technology. He completed the four years, with a perfect attendance record and was the class Salutorian.
Jim has been working with the Leo Alumni Association for the last twelve years, and if there is an event for our Association Banquet, Baseball Outing, Golf Outing, etc., you can count on the fact that he has played a huge role in putting them together. He has also spent countless hours at Leo helping with their computer operations.
Jim is a most deserving inductee into the Hall of Fame. Congratulations and thanks for Jim.
Hall of Fame 2000
Thomas Fitzgerald Class of ' 59