Cover photo for John Michael Murphy's Obituary
John Michael Murphy Profile Photo

John Michael Murphy

May 26, 1950 — February 13, 2024

Madison Lake, MN

John Michael Murphy

John Michael Murphy, 73, passed away peacefully on February 13, 2024, in his Madison Lake, Minnesota home, surrounded by his loving family.  

Born on May 26, 1950, in Waterloo, Iowa, John was the son of Hazel (Beck) and Joseph P. Murphy.  He graduated from Reinbeck High School in 1968 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy from his beloved Iowa State University in 1972.    

A dedicated entrepreneur, John founded Agricultural Resource Management Company in Mankato in 1984, often serving three generations of families and farmers throughout Minnesota and Iowa.  

An active member of the Rotary Club of Greater Mankato, John exemplified the motto “service above self.”   He had perfect attendance for 30 years and was a multiple recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship Service Award.   John served as Mankato Rotary President in 2000-2001 and in 2001-2002 he held the position of District 5960 Assistant Governor for Southern Minnesota.  John’s attendance was not limited to the Mankato region; he also participated in international and numerous interstate conventions.  John supported the local, national, and global humanitarian projects Rotary led.   

In 1998, John married Karen Willette, a widow, with five daughters. In addition to becoming a husband, he became an instant father and future grandpa and carried his devotion to service into these new roles.   These roles led to many adventures for John as he helped the women and grandchildren in his family navigate life.     

His love for nature and the outdoors - especially lakes and rivers - was surpassed only by his passion for making the grandchildren feel special.  Whether fishing, sharing breakfast, giving a thoughtful gift, exploring unique places, or engaging in lakeside conversations, John and his grandchildren treasured these moments.  

Left to cherish John’s memory is his wife, Karen Willette-Murphy and daughters: Tara Geis, her husband Michael Geis and their three children: Luke and his wife Madison, Brianna and her fiancé Tyler Jacobson, and Benjamin; Rachelle Willette and her husband Joe Adocchio, and their daughter Reagan Berube; Lynnae Willette; Alicia Willette and her husband Jim Komarmi, and their three children: Aidan Beyer, Lincoln Komarmi and Adeline Komarmi; and Nicole Koutnik and her husband Michael Koutnik and their daughter Eloise.  John’s siblings: Shirley Delfs; Judy Otto; Jerry Murphy and his wife Valerie; Mary Linder and her husband Dana.  

John is preceded in death by his parents: Hazel and Joseph P. Murphy, and brothers: Patrick and Rick.  

Public visitation for John will be held from 4:00 - 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 23, 2024, at Northview North Mankato Mortuary, 2060 Commerce Drive, North Mankato, MN 56003.  The service - expressing gratitude to God for the blessing of John’s presence in our family - will be held from 6 - 7 p.m. and will be presented by his daughters and grandchildren.   

The Funeral Mass, officiated by Father John Kunz, is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 632 South Broad Street, Mankato, MN 56001, with visitation starting at 10 a.m.

John will be buried in a private family funeral near his parents and siblings in Blessing Cemetery, Black Hawk County, Iowa, this summer.   

In lieu of flowers, memorials in John’s name may be sent to: 

The Rotary Club of Greater Mankato at P.O. Box 63, Mankato, MN 56002. 

The John Murphy Agri-Engineering Endowment (scholarship code 057061) at Minnesota State University, Mankato, 126 Foundation Center, Mankato, MN 56001.  

John’s family extends heartfelt thanks to Dr. James West and the physicians and nurses who cared for him.   

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Michael Murphy, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Friday, February 23, 2024

4:00 - 7:30 pm (Central time)

Northview - North Mankato Mortuary

2060 Commerce Drive, North Mankato, MN 56003

Visitation from 4 - 7:30 p.m., Friday at Northview ~ North Mankato Mortuary with a familly lead service starting at 6:00 p.m.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, February 24, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

632 S Broad St, Mankato, MN 56001

Mass at 11:00 a.m., Saturday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Visitation one hour before the service at the church.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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