Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Murphy J. Soirez -- 1928-2008

On Sunday, October 26th at approximately 7:04 PM, my father-in-law, Murphy Soirez, went home to God. He had suffered a massive stroke five days earlier and never regained consciousness. At his bedside was his wife of 57 years and three of his four children and their spouses (including my wife and myself). His fourth child had left the hospital only a few hours previously. The pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas parish, where he had worshiped for 55 years had visited the day before to administer the Last Rites of the Church.

If one defines success as to how well one plays the hand of cards one has been dealt, Murphy was among the most successful of men. Born into poverty in the bayous of Louisiana, Murphy left school after the 7th grade in order to go to work and help support his family. He was always willing to do whatever was necessary for his family. As a young man, he joined the Army and was trained as a firefighter. Although a Korean War era veteran, he never saw combat. Upon leaving the Army, he married Doris, my mother-in-law and joined the electrical contracting firm owned by her family. He remained at Crown Electric until his retirement.

Murphy worked tirelessly all his life. Although not a wealthy man, he was determined to see his children succeed in life. All four of his children spent at least part of their education in Catholic schools (11 years in the case of my wife). He was very proud of the achievements of his children. His eldest son joined him at Crown Electric -- and is now president of the firm. He rejoiced in his 11 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Murphy was a good neighbor. One cannot count the number of times he mowed the lawns or shoveled the walks of the elderly in the neighborhood. He loved to garden and to landscape -- indeed, he was still gardening until the day before his stroke. He loved the ballgame. One of my wife's fondest memories was the many times her father took her to see his beloved Baltimore Orioles play at old Memorial Stadium.

After returning from the hospital on the evening of his death, his other son-in-law and I raised our glasses in his honor. "To the best father-in-law a man could have" said Matt -- to which I responded "To a good life well lived".

Rest in peace, Murphy Soirez. You will be greatly missed.

But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,and their departure was thought to be an affliction, and their going from us to be their destruction;but they are at peace. For though in the sight of men they were punished,their hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good,because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them,and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them. In the time of their visitation they will shine forth,and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples,and the Lord will reign over them for ever. Those who trust in him will understand truth,and the faithful will abide with him in love,because grace and mercy are upon his elect,and he watches over his holy ones. -- The Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9

Papa Z

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Blogger MommaBlogger said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Give my love to Michele and the kids, Shana

7:48 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Thanks, Shana. I'll pass the message on to Michele. All our best to you and your family.

10:13 AM  

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