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Suicide in Discovery Park

May 26th, 2010 · 97 Comments

UPDATE 5/28:  The Memorial Service for Shaun Murphy will be held on Wednesday, June 2 at St. Anne’s Catholic Church on Queen Anne.  The church is located at 1411 1st Ave West.  There are more details here

You can also view photographs that honor Mr. Murphy’s memory and find information about donations to the Crisis Clinic here.

Some of you sent us emails concerned about police activity in Discovery Park last night.  One jogger told us he saw a dead man on a bench on the park’s south bluff.  Police confirm to Magnolia Voice that a man shot himself in the head and died at the scene.  Authorities tell us he left behind a suicide note.

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  • Priscilla

    What a tragedy. Seattle has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. Seattle’s Crisis Clinic helps many people avoid such a lonely end.

    The fastest growing category of suicides in America is elder suicides. I have no idea who this person was but I feel badly for his family and for the poor person who was left to find him after such a violent end.

    There’s an amazing article in the Scientific American Mind that tells about suicide that may be of interest:

    Suicide touches many families in our city each year and it is still shrouding in shame. It’s time we talk openly about these deep loses and learn to listen to those who have these violent ends in their own families.

  • Jon Castillo

    The man who left us so tragicly last night was a very good man! His name was Shaun Murphy. He was my boss, my long time friend and was like another brother to me. He was a strong positive person who had a huge heart and softer side that many people in our industry did not get a chance to see. He was a ruthless buisness man who would not ttake no for an answer and rolled out the red carpet and serviced his clients with top notch service from begining to end. I always admired him and new that I always had his support and prayers when I needed them. He was a man that loved his family & his extended work family and will be deeply missed by all. To his wife and 3-kids I send out all of my love and heart felt condolences and prayers. To his brothers and my personal friends and buissnes partners I Love You and will always be there for you, together we will move forward in his honor and continue the legacy he has built. Last but not least to you Shaun, I Love you and will miss you deeply! I wish you would have reached out to me in your darkest hour. I know that you are now in the hands of god and will be watching us and proteecting us from above. What ever it was that got you to this point it was not worth the end result. Shaun was a strong man not the broken man found alone on the bench.
    I Love you Shaun and will miss you very much!

    Jon Castillo

  • Justin

    I am so sorry to hear about this. What a tragedy. I wish the best for his family and loved ones. I never met him, but I live next to Discovery Park and wish that I was there and could have talked to him.

  • Vipin

    I totally resonate with what Jon Costello, but I knew Shaun from thr Queen Anne neigborhood and coffee shop and St. Anne’s Church. He was a very wise soul, and I admired his business acumen and focus. He was my friend, I will miss him greatly, I am in total shock, Queen Anne and Seattle lost a good man. I feel so sorry for his kids, please anyone thinking about Suicide, Please don’t do it. God will help you and your family and friends want to be there for you. Please don’t do it.

    I can now look back a few days ago and I see the sadness in his eyes when he jogged by and waved to me. Oh Shaun, why didn’t we have that talk my friend. We will miss you, your wisdom and good character. God bless your soul and your friends and family.

  • Rich Bucho

    A tragic and stunning loss. What possibly could drive a man to do such a thing? Shaun Murphy was a friend of mine; he was indeed kind and generous, a genuinely nice human being. I’m sorry to hear this news, but mostly sorry for the family who will be forever affected by this. I love the Murphy’s!

  • Scott Driver

    So very sad,,and, ultimately, selfish.

  • Denise Schwend

    I knew Shaun as well and just can’t believe this. I am so sad for his brothers, his wife and kids. His loss is so great for so many. He will be missed terribly by all of us who knew him. Terrible to think of the pain he must have been in.

  • Matt

    I was one of those who found Shaun, and although none of us had met him before, we were greatly saddened by his loss as well.

    His last view of this earth was one I would have chosen for my own – the setting sun over the water, with boats passing by in front of the Olympic mountains.

    Or rather it would have been if the sky hadn’t been so flat and gray.

    If I had one wish, it would have been for him to be able to see the sunshine behind those clouds, for perhaps if his view of the water – of life – hadn’t been clouded he might not have left us.

  • Dayna Leavens

    May God bless you Shaun, and hold you in the hollow of his hands now. May love and strength surround your beautiful wife and children during this time of loss and sadness. You were so strong, loving and wise. We love you Shaun, and are so sad that you were in so much pain.

  • Magmom

    Please, if you are feeling hopeless (and only the truly depressed know the hollowness of a true absence of any hope), and so disconnected from life that suicide seems like an option, STOP, and get whatever help is needed.

    Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary condition. It may not seem temporary, but it is. Suicide will alter the lives of all you love forever. Tell yourself, when if thoughts of suicide start to comfort you, that IT IS NOT AN OPTION, and then find plan b.

  • Catharyn

    One day last week I woke up and did my usual routine which includes prayer time with God. For a unexplained reason God put it upon my heart to pray for Shaun Murphy, I don’t know Shaun very well but he has been my husbands employer for the past five years. I prayed that his heart would soften and that he would be receptive to God who loves him and that my husband would be a light to him. I know Shaun and my husband had many wonderful conversations together. Shaun has always been a gentelman to my family and I, spending time with us when we first arrived here making sure we were comfortable in this new place Seattle, Wa. I always admired his love for his business and love for his employees I guess that is why one year he was voted one of the top fifty best places to work for in Western Washington. My heart and deepest sympathy goes out to his lovely wife and beautiful three children, his parents, siblings, cousins, employees and friends. I know I will miss him too. Psa 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

  • Sandy G.

    I am stunned and saddened to hear the news. Although I didn’t know Shaun well, he was always so full of passion and energy. It was clear to me how much he loved life, his family and friends which makes this all the more difficult to comprehend. My heart goes out to all of those touched by this tragedy.

  • Kirstin Pavalunas

    The loss is unimaginable and my heart goes out to his wife and his kids. Shaun will be so missed as will his energy, Intensity and funny “Shaunism” sayings. God bless his family.

  • Glenn Jensen

    When my good friend Dan told me about this tragic event I was stunned beyond belief. I had known Shaun for about three years, and had just recently seen him at the Steelhead Diner on the 14th of this month. He was just a classy guy, a great sense of humor and very knowledgeable about many things. He cared about his friends and acquaintances and that always rang clear for me. I admired him for many reasons. My heart goes out to his brothers and the family that he left behind. I will miss you, and never forget you.

  • Tom

    Relating to Frank’s comment above: Here at the Key Bank in the Village we’ve been watching this sad story develop and could definitely help setting up a donation fund. If anyone reading this can get the Murphy family in touch with us we’ll make that happen. Tom, Andrew & Brian 2401 34th Ave W 206.585.9364

  • Nina

    I was at the Park when this happened. We had been sitting on that very bench (it must have been the one because it was the only bench within the police line) maybe 40 minutes before. We hiked down to the beach, and returned to find the scene.

    We always choose to sit on that bench because my husband proposed to me there several years ago. It was actually one of the old wood benches that has since been replaced, and we carved our initals at that time.

    It is strange to think that someone else sat in this same place and had an equally emotional experience, only on the other end of the spectrum. I truly feel for this man and his family, and I hope that he has found peace.

  • Tamera

    Tom…from the message above…I passed on your infomation to Dan and very close cousin…
    Thanks for your kind words…

  • Tim

    I made the 911 call when I ran up to the two runners that found Shaun. I didn’t know Shaun, but his suicide has really shaken me up too. The irony is that when I was 16 I successfully intervened in my father’s second suicide attempt. I just looked through Shaun’s family pictures on his company web-site and my heart is broken. No amount of suffering is intolerable when compared with the indelible trauma one leaves behind when they choose to take their own life. No amount of helplessness justifies the tragedy of depriving a family their father. I can’t help but think the pressures Shaun created for himself were not compulsory, but compulsive, and a sad symptom of materialism and the illusion of necessity to provide an untenable American dream. I know Shaun could’ve walked away from whatever drowning obligations or weights he had tethered himself to. It’s tragically unfortunate that he couldn’t find, and wasn’t shown the keys to unshackle this burden. The irony again is that my father is still alive, but I still had to witness a father die. Life is not fair, especially to those left behind. I send all of my love and compassion to Shaun’s wife and children. May you eventually heal and find peace, forgiveness and joy in your hearts again.

  • Jamie Holman

    I moved from small town Montana, to big town Seattle four years ago. I didn’t know a soul and landed a job at Working Spaces. Immediately Working Spaces took me under its wing and became my second family. Working with Shaun was never dull; he always kept you on your toes. He would never just give a yes or no answer…he would give his response and just leave you puzzling over his answer for the next thirty minutes, wondering what the heck did that mean. He has so many “Shaunisms” that Working Spaces even made a holiday trivia game out of it! While I was in Seattle I lost my little sister in a car accident. When I returned back to work broken and confused Shaun, once again took me under his wing. He talked about the loss of his brother and helped me realize that even though things would never be the same…they would be okay. I so wish I would have been there to remind Shaun of that talk. I feel like I lost a family member this week. Even though it’s been over a year since I lived in Seattle and worked for Shaun, he would still send me e-mails to check in and see how I was doing. Like my sister, Shaun had a beaming personality. He was so intense and passionate about EVERYTHING. It is always so sad how the brightest stars are taken from us too soon. But you have to remember the reason they shined so bright was because they didn’t have as much time as the rest of us to gleam. Shaun was definitely the brightest star I knew, he couldn’t walk into a room without people noticing. I know he is shining down on us today. My thoughts and prayers are with Shaun’s family.

  • Shannon Gilmour

    Hello, my heart goes out to all of you. In reading the comments, I would like to say that each and everyone of you has your role in this life for a specific purpose, and Shaun was a valiant person because I have been shown what a positive imprint he left for those of you that knew him or of him. (Through your comments of compassion and mercy)
    Please do not for any reason take his burden upon yourselves, find people to talk about this tragedy with, but please do not allow this tragedy to place blame where it doesn’t belong. Suicide’s goal is to isolate and separate, and Shaun lived the life he was given the best he could and made the most of his life, the best of his ability. I know that he loved and cared for all of you, and his family meant so much to him and many may question that if he loved and cared so much then why did he do this? Suicide causes one to see the situation exclusively from a personal perspective, and therefore it is not in the individual to see the perspective differently. They can’t think about the after effects of anyone they love, they draw from the love that they know that they feel from the other person and that helps to secure in their mind that everyone will be okay. It’s a small cup of comfort, but I see already that Shaun’s life stands for so much in his death. You all are the voice of strength that he could not hear in his moment in the dark. God bless you all and may you all find comfort and strength.
    – Shannon

  • Bryan Trenary

    Goodbye my friend. I’ll never forget you.

    When I was hurting you were there for me. You were much stronger then me, and though we shared our weaknesses; I was oblivious to the intensity of your pain.

    Not many men “Say what they mean, and mean what they say,” like you did.

    No man loved the romance and principle of the American Free Enterprise system our country was founded upon, like you did.

    I know you loved your family, your business, employees, friends, and big sky country….

    Thank you Shaun for sharing your life with Janni and me.

    I’ll see ya at Old Man Creek this summer!

  • Martin Tobias

    Shaun was a friend. Our kids are in school together. I always looked forward to Shaun in a $300 shirt and flip-flops in church with his great kids. Obvious love and caring. That makes what happened very hard to understand. I spoke to him at length at the st anne auction. He seemed happy. There were obviously demons and devils at work that none of us understand.

    Shaun I wish you had reached out to me. And I wish I had been perceptive enough to call you out. I khan known depression. I have been in very dark places. There are ways out. I am sorry I couldn’t share that with you

    Be well where ever you are

  • Gator

    Theres nothing I can say that hasn’t been said repeatedly by others who have posted notes above.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever been struck so hard by he loss of one individual, as I have been by the loss of Shaun.

    In the years I”ve known him , I never once heard him say a mean or cruel word about anyone. The values & principles he pocessed & lived by are ones in which I would one day hope to obtain. I’ll have to work at it, he came by it naturally.

    My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to Jill and the kids.

    I’ll miss the Gouchie Cowboy. See you in the streams and badlands of Montana.

    I love u man!


  • Tricia Kesterson

    I did not know Shaun and his family. I am sorry for their loss. May you remember the good times and what a wonderful man he was and the good things he did for your family, friends, employees and magnolia community. Peace and Aloha to Shaun and his family

  • Mahoney

    We’ll have info up on our website for everyone this afternoon. It’s a great place to see how much he loved his family and what type of man he was.

    Shaun could see colors the rest of us cannot see. An amazing mind that blessed so many people.

  • JR

    I didn’t know Shaun, I’m just a Magnolia resident not too far from Discovery Park. From all of your comments, ‘shaunisms’, stories, and love for him, makes it clear to someone such as myself who did not know him, what an amazing person he was. It saddens me that he got to a place where he felt he had no alternatives. It saddens me for his wife and children losing the rock of their life, it saddens me for his family and friends who clearly thought the world of this man, who are all now grieving such a significant loss.

    To each of you, my deepest sympathies are with you.

    To Shaun, I hope you rest in peace.

  • Dennis Boltach

    My deepest condolences to everyone at working spaces, especially Mrs. Murphy and family.
    Shaun Murphy is one in a million. He’s the kind of person that leaves an impression on your life. Natural born leader with a big heart and good values. At the same time probably one of the most direct people Ive met. His decisiveness demanded admiration, it seemed like he was always on his A-game. Never caught off guard, never confused, but razor sharp and always in control. What I honored the most about Mr Murphy was that even as a successful person he was never puffed up, cocky maybe, but I guess its not even cockiness when you’re that good… :)

    I wish I had a chance to know you more…

    The world truly lost a great leader and human being.

  • Tom Preston

    Shaun, your passing caught me by surprise. Though it had been several years since we had done business together, I found myself thinking of you and your brothers only weeks ago. I visited the WS website and saw happy, smiling faces. My heart goes out to Joe, Dan, and the rest of the Murphy family. I don’t know what troubled you so greatly, I only wish I had been there to help.

  • Neille McEntire

    Shaun, I will miss smelling like your cologne for the rest of the day after your perfect hugs. Your family is being cocooned in love and long, long arms. Rest in peace. I will miss you somethin’ fierce. Love, Neille


    As the Regional Director for Ducks Unlimited (DU) here in Western Washington State, I had the distinct honor of working with Mr. Shaun Murphy for the past five years. During that time, Shaun served brilliantly as the Co-Chair of our Seattle chapter. His tenacious passion for wetlands conservation inspired the committee to reach even loftier goals. As a result, Seattle DU has ranked # 1 in the USA (out of over 3,000 chapters) for three consecutive years now.
    In terms of wetlands conserved or restored, Shaun and his Seattle DU colleagues are directly responsible for a myriad of habitat improvement projects covering thousands of acres across North America. Perhaps we can best see Shaun’s local legacy personified at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Here, on November 12, 2009, the largest estuary restoration project ever completed in the Pacific Northwest was dedicated. On a recent morning, Shaun sent me one of his hallmark messages: “At Nisqually…Bald Eagles soaring…beautiful.” As a distinguished DU volunteer, Shaun Murphy was unequivocally committed to the cause of migratory bird conservation and vital habitat programs. We can take solace in the fact that his lasting contributions will keep priceless wetlands in their natural state today, tomorrow, and forever. And, on behalf of the entire DU community of over 650,000 people, our thoughts and prayers are with the Murphy family at this difficult time.

  • Dan “Rooster” Leavens

    About 15 years ago, I met Shaun and his brother Joe while duckhunting in the Potholes Reservoir. They were both wearing fur caps and enjoying a morning shoot with our friend Ron Gross. That same morning, as the action slowed, Shaun’s labrador “Dusty” decided to breed my labrador, “Tuna”. Funny how things work. We all had a good laugh then and several times thereafter. I have had the pleasure of guiding and mentoring Shaun in the world of flyfishing since that day. I watched him learn the ins and outs of becoming handy with the flyrod, all the while sharing stories of the business world, both in my Montana Outfitting business as well as in Shauns world in the hustle and bustle of the city. Two friends, from different cultures, enjoying the same river and pursuit of the enjoyment that comes while flyfishing. He has in turn mentored me in business and family decisions, and will continue to do so from this point forward. In every tradgedy, one must find comedy he once told me. Well Shaun, as technologically competent as you were on earth, I am certain your blackberry is pinging each time we make a comment here, so odds are you are reading this. I certainly hope the trout are frustrating wherever you are now. I hope you remember to pause on that backcast, and most of all to let them eat the fly before you strike.
    I, on the other hand, will continue on the path of mentoring your boys in the ways of the outdoorsman. You have my word on it. Thanks for your advice over the years. I look forward to more of it, as I am certain you will be looking down on my family and I in Montana.

  • S


    I would have chosen that spot too!

    Peace be with you and your family – and this great mystery of life.

  • Dr. Jack L. Casner

    I have never had the pleasure of meeting Shaun, but I share the pain of his family. I am a friend of his sisters and I know how much his has affected them. Go forward in peace.

  • Dave White

    I worked with Shaun for many years. He was an awesome guy that was a great inspiration to many. Sometimes life just isn’t understandable. God only knows what really happened to him. From what I knew of him, I would not think this was possible. He will be missed by all. He will live on in our hearts and minds. Shaun, God be with you my friend.

  • Randall

    I had the pleasure of knowing Shaun since 1992 in Seattle. I found him to be one of my best clients, very loyal and always prepared. We became friends over the years and I know he loved life and his family. I am sadded by his outcome, but know he is watching over his family and his friends. Shaun I will miss you and our interesting conversations. Be at peace.

  • ringo nishioka

    I have had the pleasure of trout fishing, steelheading, doing business, and just “hanging out” with Shaun over the years. I have shared a lot of great memories with him and one of my favorite pictures I have is when we were on the Hoh river and he just hooked into a real hot fish. He is looking into the camera with that huge Shaun grin on his face only a guy who lived life to the fullest could muster. Shaun, you are a real gentleman, and I can’t say this about many guys, but I always knew you would give me the shirt off your back and be there for us in any situation no questions asked. You always let me know you were thinking of us, surprising me with the gift of a recent book you read or a pocket knife you appreciated. I don’t have children, but I always admired how you talked about your wife and children so openly, sharing your love for them, and the great stories with me. When we sold our company, you were the one guy that made your office and support available to me, and offered to set me up with an office in the home. I learned so much about friendship from you. You showed me how to be a better person and I want to say “thank you”. The rivers we shared together will always be special Brother.
    Git her done

  • Sean Cunningham

    Nobody can understand what demons Shaun was fighting leading up to his tragic farewell. I’m mad at my friend, no I’m angry – This was not the Shaun I knew. Shaun was a class act, a gentleman, a generous soul who always extended a helping hand. He stood by his handshake and his word was gold, a rare individual in today’s time. He loved his family and was quick to share his joy with his friends. I have tremendous respect for Shaun aside from his last act.

    Shaun was someone I would have never in a million years would have thought capable of taking his own life. The fragments of the lives he has shattered will take a long time to make whole again even if that is possible. Are there any lessons to be learned??? For me, I want to make sure my friends know that they are loved and my support is available 365/24/7. If you are carrying a heavy burden then please talk openly with me, your friends, your family and if for some reason that isn’t possible then reach out to the crisis hotline. No one should suffer in silence and I don’t want to have my family or friends get to the point that Shaun reached.

    I will miss him dearly.

  • Mike

    What We Know

    We don’t understand why. We don’t understand why he is not here with us. We just don’t understand.

    Today Shaun is no longer walking among us. And that the pain and sadness we feel will never go away. Like the wound that never heals, his absence will make us heartsick the rest of our lives.

    A momentary lapse of judgment has stolen him away from us. If ever we had one opportunity to travel back in time and change a moment, we know which moment we would choose and then we would wake up from this nightmare we are in.

    He was a good person. Father, Husband, Brother, Leader, Friend, Competitor, Advocate. The list goes on and on. All descriptions of how our lives were richer for having him with us. He challenged us to be the best we could be. We knew we needed to bring our A game or not show up. He did that for us. He accepted no alternatives.

    We will remember all he meant to us.

    What we know is that Shaun will be missed.

  • Kevin

    Oh Shaun,

    I am sorry and I will miss you old friend.

  • Johnny Strauss

    To the Murphy Family,

    I write this letter with a very heavy heart upon hearing of Shauns passing. I have not seen any of the family in many years. I am so sorry to hear of this incident. Shaun’s pictures bring back many great memories and I know what a great sincere person he was.

    Go rest in peace my friend. May God rest your soul.

    All my love to you all……….

    Johnny Strauss

  • Victor

    It is unimaginable to me how someone can experience the depth of pain to leave such a beautiful wife and family. I have always been a huge fan of the Murphy’s and Shawn. He was always so friendly and full of life. Our community is so fortunate to have them. I only hope we can help in their time of sorrow.

  • bds

    My husband and I knew Shaun from St. Anne School, St. Anne Parish and beyond. We were both big fans. I never once heard Shaun say an unkind word about another human soul. We stand two among many reeling with grief from the horrible loss.

    I have spent my adulthood pondering the dilemma of suicide, after losing my only sibling twenty-some years ago in the same manner. To say that suicide is a final solution to a temporary problem is to dismiss the reality and persistence of human depression, despair and hopelessness. Depression is a disease as organic in nature as cancer or diabetes. For some it is situational and fleeting. For others low-level, but chronic. And for some, it is life-long and debilitating. It is impossible to reason, much less understand the point at which despair may render life a burden for another person.

    For Shaun’s family: Jill, and their three children, and his siblings, I pray that as you cycle through the many emotions you will feel toward Shaun and his death over the course of your lives, that your eventual, overriding feeling is solace, that Shaun is at Peace. That Shaun did what he did to seek Peace.

  • Valorie Evanyo-Weaver

    I can not express the sorrow I feel for you, the kids, brothers, and numerous members of the extended family.
    I have fond memories of times spent with the Murphy family, and will never forget the Working Spaces trip to New Orleans.
    I wish there was something to say that could heal your pain…
    Your are in our thoughts,
    Valorie, Blake, and Brett (Ralston)

  • Mark & Victoria Russell

    Dear Jill,
    We are so incredibly sorry for your loss. While I know you and I were not very close during our short time at St. Anne’s together, I do know one thing for sure. You and Shaun are such wonderful and caring people. Alex so enjoyed everytime, getting to play with Dylan and seeing Mr. Murphy’s cool car (as he would say). We will keep you in our prayers. God bless you always. Victoria

  • Mindy Matuszak

    I am deeply saddened to hear the news about Shaun. More than anything else about Shaun, he was genuine. I always counted on him to tell me the absolute truth. He was sharp, witty, determined, caring, competitive, a deep thinker, a shrewd business person. I had the pleasure of working with Shaun early in his career, as he was building his business. I learned so much from him about the commitment and determination that it takes, but he made it look easy and had fun in the process.
    As busy as he was, Shaun always took personal time to help others in need. There were many times that he dropped everything to help me out and I will never forget that.
    I know how close he was to his family and that he held them above all else. My heart goes out to you all as you heal from your loss.
    Shaun was definitely one of a kind. I will never forget his endearing smile, his fabulous laugh, and his caring heart.

  • greg james

    It’s taken me a while to write something about Shaun because of some difficult conflicting emotions. Shaun was a friend. A very good friend. I first met him in the early 90’s and we became buddies fairly quickly. Back then there were half a dozen of us that rode Harleys through Belltown on the weekends. We had great fun”tearing it up”, and generally acting like the crazy young guys we were. As is often the case in life, the gang went seperate ways, and I didn’t see him for nearly a decade. I got married. He got married. We both focused on raising families and growing businesses.
    Around 2005 I re-connected with Shaun on the Seattle Ducks Unlimited committee. He joined that year, and it was great seeing him again. We quickly took up where things left off. The Harleys were long gone, but we both had a strong mutual interest in the outdoors, and the preservation of America’s wetlands. Shaun was a natural on the committee, dedicating lots of time, energy, and money to furthering the cause of protecting america’s declining waterfowl habitat. In 2008, and 2009 we co-chaired the Seattle DU banquet/auction together, and saw it set all time records for revenues raised. (#1 two years running, out of 2900 chapters worldwide!). I know how proud he was to be part of that amazing success, and I truly enjoyed working with him and seeing his drive pay off in such a big way. And what drive!
    That same drive was present in his business, and along with his brother Joe and the rest of the Working spaces crew, he did all the furniture and carpeting for our new offices in 2008. The job was executed flawlessly.
    Above I mention conflicting emotions and taking time to write this. As much as I admired his energy, and enjoyed his friendship, I haven’t been able to shake the questions I have about his passing. Why Shaun?? Why??
    We spent time together vacationing with our families last summer, and again at Christmas and I can recall nothing to indicate anything beneath the surface that was bothering him.
    In the end, I think about the many times we talked about our families and kids together while sipping whiskey under the bright stars of a cold Okanogan County fall night. The type of setting that brings out complete honesty and truth. He always talked about his love for his family, and never waivered in his commitment to them. With that in mind, the thoughts of the Catholic priest leading the funeral ring true for me: There must have been something deep inside that overrode the rational, and caused him to do something so irrational. I’m comfortable with that explaination.
    Whatever was going on in his mind, he thought it was the right thing to do.
    My hope now is to watch his kids grow up to be fine teens, and productive adults, and someday have the honor of telling them some funny stories about what a wonderful father they had. I’ll miss you Shaun.

    Greg James

  • jannan

    My first memory of Shaun was about 6 years ago. Shortly before our eldest children would be entering preschool at St Anne’s. Every Sunday I would see Shaun, front row at mass. He would lovingly perch his son up on the seat so they could stand eye to eye throughout the service. He engaged with his kids in such a deep and meaningful way that from across the room you felt it. And his wife, I never spoke to Shaun without him referring to his lovely wife whom he clearly adored. He loved his family and for whatever deperately sad reason, I know without a single doubt that Shaun Murphy did everything with his family first and foremost in mind. In my own recent experiences with Shaun, he exuded such a sense of peace. That is all I wish for him and his beautiful family now, peace.

  • SJ

    An Ode to Jill
    Shaun traversed the world to find the perfect woman. One who didn’t whine too much, or demand too much, or put up airs. One who was drop-dead gorgeous in a natural way. One who would rock his world. Twice he tried but ended up disappointed. How many times he tried in between, I don’t have the strength to recount.
    He was attentive to a fault. Almost nauseous in his approach. It would take a strong woman with a certain regard to win him.
    He landed on you…finally. To everyone’s relief.

  • Jon Castillo

    Wednesday was a very emotional day for me as we payed our final respects to Shaun in a very touching and beautiful ceremony at St Annes. It was a huge gathering of friends family and members of the seattle furniture industry, as well as clients and buusness men & women that Shaun had had the pleasure of dealing with over the years. I saw faces of people that I have not seen in over 20 years. It was like taking a walk through the days of yester year when I was a young kid fresh out of school jumping into this industry. I would not be where I am and who I am today with out Shaun, he was a mentor a leader and a role model of a succesful buisness man. Always hard working and profesional. He gave me the oppritunity to grow with him as his buisness reached all time highs and we stuck together through the lows as well. I often told him that I always felt safe working for him because as long as he had air in his lungs he would never stop working to bring in the buisness needed to keep our company solid. I can remember my first meeting with Shaun I still a young man and I thought who dose this guy think he is as he told us how to do our job with his very maticulous instructions as only he could do. I am very proud and honored that over the next 15 years I got to know exactly who he was and what he stood for. On the Tuesday before his passing we sat in my office for one of our regular good old open straight talk conversations. We started with a heartfelt Man hug discussed the issues at hand and shared our feelings with eachother. We then walked thru the warehouse together as we often did looking for furniture solutions for upcoming jobs. Our visit ended with another hug and we told each other how much we meant to each other and that. We loved one another. I am so glad I got the chance to say goodbuy to him one last time. As the father said we must forgive shaun for doing this unthinkable thing in order for us to begin to heal and for shaun to take his rightful place in the heavens above. So yes shaun I forgive you but will never forget you. I will continue to look to you in spirit for guidence and direction as we move forward without you by our sides. I will always remember the lessons you taught and the battles won and lost together. God bless Jill, Dylan, Tiernan, and Saddie. Watchover and protect them allways. But also keep an eye on Working spaces as we continue to fight the good fight in your honor. You will forever be in my heart and I will miss you dearly. Please look up Mike Suggs up there and give him a HUG! Tell him I miss him as well. Good buy for now my friend I know our paths will meet again someday.


  • Greg Smith

    I met Shaun as a fishing client in 2004. From the first day that we spent together in my boat I knew that Shaun was going to be more than a client, he would quickley become a friend. Everytime Shaun was in my boat for the day he would always take a moment, away from fishing, to look around and take in the beautiful surroundings and marvel at the pace of life that we live in here. For this reason I believe that Montana held a special place in Shaun’s heart. One night, after a great day of fishing on the Jefferson River, Shaun and I were taking a few nipps off of the Bushmills bottle when he said to me “Greg I wish I could just move to Montana and foreget about life for a while” my only reply to this was “you can”.

    My thaughts and prayers go out to Shaun’s wife and the children that he loved so much. To his brothers and relitives that worked so closely with and to everybody that he came in contact with.

    Greg and the whole crew at Four Rivers

  • Bill Luddy

    My first encounter with Shaun Murphy was about 30 years ago, we wer both two very strong headed people trying to come to a buisness resolution, as most will tell you, it wasnt easy winning a fight againt Shaun. I learned who he was and what he was made of that day, I didnt like him much but admired him for his firm stance and willingness to resolve our issues. I became a friend and fan of Shaun’s later in Chicago at Neo-Con, what a generous and thoughtful man he was, I am still in shock, I send my thoughts and prayers to his family.
    Take it easy Shaun, Love ya brother

  • Denise

    It’s so comforting to read these things. I loved Shaun like a brother. Didn’t see him enough in these last 13 years or so but will never forget him. I love to read the words people write about how Shaun was a pain in the butt, stubborn and iritating. He was. He was a real person who obviously struggled with something in his last days but he was about as real as anyone I know. He was also fun, handsome, cocky and just plain crazy (in a good way). My life is better for knowing him.

  • Deidra

    Shaun – Shaun – Shaun,

    I am sad to hear of this loss of such a decent, eager, and brave person.

    I met him 20 years ago and haven’t seen him in 14 years. My son told me this morning that he had died several weeks ago.

    When I met Shaun, he had just graduated from college and was a recent Montanan. We used to laugh at his very ‘country’ charm. He embodied what I’d ever heard of Montana; neighborly, unsuspecting, tough, and he had a boyishness about him. He loved to joke around and just didn’t leave room for negativity of any sort. He was so loyal…to himself, his friends, people, and life. I mean it. This guy was so full of truth, he just brought out the most true part of you. And with Shaun, you always felt comfortable to just be yourself. He wouldn’t have it any other way and would correct/chastise you; with a twinkle in his eyes and this big smile, if you strayed from the positive or the obvious good. But then, he would listen to you. Really intently. He was such a good listener. He’d be right there with you; in the moment. He was very reassuring.

    He was protective of his little brother. I remember he announced that his little brother was coming to town in a few weeks. He did this weekly countdown for the month until his brother showed up. He introduced him with so much pride that you would have thought he was introducing his newborn son. They were seen as Shaun and his shy and intense little brother. His brother never talked much but would watch Shaun and his shenanigans with so much laughter. Shaun made all the guys laugh, all the time.

    I could go on and on about this guy Shaun Murphy. If you knew him; you liked him. If you saw his cocky sway, you soon found out what all the cockiness was all about…he was determined to live life to the fullest. He squeezed joy out of every occasion and if there was no joy, he was pissed and would just walk away.

    What a great guy he was. Hell, my son came home one day talking about this really funny man who said that he knew me years ago. But my son would just start laughing and I’d say “Whats so funny?”, and he’d tell me these funny stories that Shaun had shared with him (on a camping trip he’d met Shaun at). My son said that Shaun was his favorite, out of all his father’s friends. I wish Shaun knew that.

    The last time I talked to Shaun, he told me that he’d met “The One”. He told me that he was going to “snatch her up before anyone else got the chance.” (he was competitive). He said that he was “happy to be so lucky”. I am glad to see that she brought him so much joy before it was his time to leave.

    This is the 3rd larger than life person I’ve known to take their own. I ain’t mad at Shaun. No. I’m just glad that I was lucky enough to cross paths with such a remarkable human being that will never leave my thoughts.

    Jill, you lucky lady. You are and hold his legacy in your heart and soul. We haven’t heard the last from Shaun. The 3 little Murphy’s have him in their bones. Personally, I can’t wait to hear about it, as time and healing goes on. This is going to be funny and no doubt positive! Just like Shaun was.

    Sorry to write so much. I just thought Shaun was a really special person.

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    I am at a loss for words. I wandered upon this website as I was in search of some help for my daughter. I am so sorry for your loss. I feel your pain as I think of loosing my 18 year old son to suicide last year. I will pray for your family…

  • Jill

    Thank you to all who wrote. It is a beautiful tribute and full of memories I will treasure. I can not write more though I have so much to say. I was lucky to have had him and he is sorely missed.

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  • Naomi (wife Shaun Murphy)

    Naomi his first love and wife from Dallas, Texas. Hi shaun, tonight I realized why I’ve had thoughts and dreams of you so frequent since your passing. I was in Seattle May, 2010, thinking of you so strongly……didn’t feel it would be appropriate to see you, but thought so strongly about you when I was in Seattle, that fateful month of May 2010.. I hear you now, and feel you so clearly……your sadness, regret and pain. Your love is real now, and has not changed at all. Romantic, poetic, wild, ambitious, and we were so “in love” all those years ago, so happy, so young. You drove all night and a day to see me for only a few hours, just wishing I would look up and notice you, at the Stoneleigh P, and I did and was totally “in love” with you in one glance. We lived and married in San Francisco, it was magical…….We moved to Seattle, I was an artist, we bought a house together. I loved you. I left. I hurt you. I am so sorry. My life was never ever the same after that……I became many things, I found God within, I have a career, made money, lived intensely, and I missed you so much all those years, so deeply, you will never know, until now. You treated me so good, loved me so much that I could not even receive or fully appreciate the depth of your love. Tonight my current husband says casually, totally out of the blue, who was that guy you were married to before? I asked him to look at your work website, and he did……Then I saw you had died, WHAT!!!!???? TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE. Can this be true?
    I am in shock. WHY? SHAUN? WHY? I do know that no one has EVER treated me as good as you, or has loved me as deeply as you, or has respected me as much as you. I loved being married to you. I never got over you, ever. I dated wrong men for years, and they weren’t you, no one was you. Shaun you were the love of my life, and I’m sorry I let go, which was my saddest mistake loosing you! It was just fate we parted so early, as I realized you were my “true love”, you found another. I deserved my fate, you followed your life path, that didn’t include me…….but did it include your early passing? God why were you so upset…..WHY???? I will pray for our soul until the day i die, I promise. God loves and accepts everyone, no matter what we have done or not done. Love is absolutely unconditional. I know you have been around me and in my dreams, to tell me your truth….which I hear very clear. You, Shaun are very much still alive right now. I’m sorry I hurt you, broke your heart, and left you……I was a fool, and I regret ever leaving you. I still love you dearly, and have never stopped loving you, and never will. I hope you are alive and well in Heaven. Everyone will be OK, and are healing from your sudden death, so let go of your guilt, please. Just be in God’s Grace and Love Forever. Thank you for loving me forever…… day I’ll see you in the REAL WORLD!!!!!! Until then, just know it’s ALL GOOD RIGHT NOW……NOTHING is WRONG, and just ask for God’s light and unconditional Love. See you soon. Love and Blessings Forever……..I Love You! Naomi