Obituary Listings

Larry Murphy

October 20, 1951 March 7, 2019
Larry Murphy
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Obituary for Larry Murphy

Larry D. Murphy 67, of Windsor Heights, Iowa passed away Thursday March 7, 2019 in the early morning hours at Taylor House Hospice after a brief fight with cancer.

Larry taught accounting for a majority of his life at AIB College of Business in Des Moines, Iowa and most recently at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. His passion was “teaching students how to learn.” He would often contemplate this challenge and continually changing the methods of how he taught to accomplish this goal.

Larry was born on October 20, 1951 to Evelyn Louise (Sparks) Murphy and John Dwight Murphy in Shenandoah, Iowa. Several years later his sister Martha joined the Murphy family. Growing up, Larry attended and graduated from South Page Community School and it was during this time he started running. He attended Iowa State University where he met Karen Stiles and they were married after graduation.

Larry immediately began work for Coopers and Lybrand, one of the Big Eight accounting firms. He worked for them as a Staff Accountant, Audit Supervisor and Audit Manager. Three years later, Larry became an Assistant Controller at Ardan, Inc. He eventually became Controller. For a short while he left to become Controller for Kirke Van Orsdel, Inc. (KVI), but returned to Ardan, staying until 1987. In 1982, Larry became an adjunct accounting instructor for the American Institute of Business (AIB) and eventually became a full-time instructor. During this time Larry became the Area Governor for Toastmasters International.

While working full-time, Larry completed his Masters Business Administration degree at Drake University graduating with a 4.0 GPA. In 1988 Larry also went to work for a local CPA firm. Larry and Karen ultimately divorced in 1996. While teaching at AIB in 2001 and until 2005, Larry became an adjunct accounting instructor for Graceland University when they partnered with AIB to allow students in Des Moines to obtain a 4-year degree while attending AIB. Eventually in 2016, AIB College of Business, as it became known, closed. Larry was presented as Distinguished Professor of Accounting in April 2016. That fall he started teaching for Graceland University. Larry lived in Lamoni during the week and taught accounting classes for a year and a half, while commuting home on the weekends.

Throughout his working career, Larry continued to run and was very proud of the fact he’d run for “over 40 years.” He became more serious about it in the mid-1990s and ran10K races, which evolved into half marathons and even more marathons. He completed over 26 marathons, an ultra Marathon or 50K (31.07 miles) and even qualified for the Boston Marathon. One of his biggest regrets was that he didn’t run Boston. During this time he became dubbed Nutty Runner, because you have to be a little nuts to run that much! He was very proud of his accomplishments, as well he should be. All good things must come to an end and in 2006 he’d run so much the doctor told him he was bone-on-bone and would need knee replacements. He refused and lived with the pain and eventually could no longer run, but up until January 20, 2019, he continued to walk at least two miles a day.

Larry married the love of his life, Julie Van Dyke on July 7, 2007 in Dubuque, Iowa. Although he never had children of his own, he instantly became a stepdad to two daughters and Papa Larry to six grandchildren.

On January 25, 2019 Larry was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor. He lost his brave battle with cancer at Taylor House Hospice where he passed way early in the morning of March 7th. A special thank you for the kindness and care provided by Unity Point Hospice and Taylor House Hospice during Larry’s short fight with cancer. Everyone associated with these two organizations ROCKS!

Please join Larry’s family for a Celebration of Life
Friday March 15, 2019
4 pm to 7 pm
Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home
8201 Hickman Road
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

Memorials may be designated to either Unity Point Hospice or Taylor House, both awesome end-of-life care providers.

Unity Point Foundation
1415 Woodland Ave Ste. E200
Des Moines, IA 50309

Taylor House Hospice
3401 East Douglas Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50317

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Larry Murphy, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Celebration of Life




4:00 PM 3/15/2019 4:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 3/15/2019 7:00:00 PM
Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home and Crematory

8201 Hickman Road
Urbandale, IA 50322

Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home and Crematory
8201 Hickman Road Urbandale 50322 IA
United States

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