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Richmond Hill Mayor Pro Tem Johnny Murphy dies: Updated with memorial service info
Johnny Murphy. Photo provided.

Richmond Hill Mayor Pro Tem Johnny Murphy died Wednesday afternoon after a long battle with a form of cancer known as multiple myeloma.

He was 63.

The City on Thursday announced a memorial service and celebration of life gathering for Murphy will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22 at the Ford Plantation.

A complete obituary will be forthcoming.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that you please give to the Betterway Foundation, created by Murphy to help others many years ago. 

The address is: Betterway Foundation in care of South State Bank, 9971 Ford Avenue, Richmond Hill, Georgia 31324

To send online condolences, please visit

Murphy's death was announced Wednesday in an emailed statement from Richmond Hill's mayor and city council. 

“It is with great sadness that the City of Richmond Hill announces the death of beloved Mayor Pro Tempore Johnny Murphy.  Councilmember Murphy's impact on our city, as a public servant and a private citizen, has been phenomenal. Our prayers are with his loving wife Leslie, his children Clint, Paige, Lauren, and the rest of his family," the email read. 

Once called the “King of Richmond Hill,"  Murphy was long one of the county’s most influential real estate developers and, in a 2005 Georgia Trend Magazine story, was reported to have more than $30 million tied up in construction worth some $600 million. 

As word of his death spread on social media, one local real estate broker, Randy Bocook, posted on Facebook, “He will be missed. He was Richmond Hill.”

Another poster wrote on the Bryan County News Facebook site: “I’m so sorry to hear this! He was a blessing to our family without even knowing it. We appreciate him giving military families a place to live. Our prayers are with the family.”

Always a booster for the local community’s economic growth, Murphy founded Richmond Hill Reflections magazine and a website,Rich, both of which are dedicated to promoting South Bryan. Murphy had been ill for some time, but had continued attending city council meetings until recently.

Multiple myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, where they crowd out healthy blood cells, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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