Kevin Maxwell Murphy died Friday, Aug. 8, in Somerville, N.J. He was 45.
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Born Sept. 13, 1973, in Riverhead, N.Y. to doting parents James and Ruth (Jernick), Max attended Long Island public schools and graduated from Westhampton Beach High School in 1991.
That fall, Max drove – he hated flying – to South Bend, Ind., to embark on a degree in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame – he loved the Irish.
Max worked as a sommelier at La Salle Grille in South Bend and managed Coach’s restaurant. His time at these venerable South Bend restaurants sparked a culinary passion in Maxwell that he shared with everyone. He introduced his daughters, Lila and Fiona, to the farm-to-table experience when they were just 6 and 4, much to the delight of the wonderfully attentive chefs at 90 Acres in Somerset County, N.J., who shared Max’s delight at establishing adventuresome palettes at a young age.
Upon graduating from Notre Dame, Max moved to Jersey City, N.J., to follow in his father’s footsteps as a journalist for Dow Jones Newswires and later The Wall Street Journal.
Max often broke news by scouring cumbersome federal findings and wading through pages of corporate jargon to find out what’s really going on. Max’s engaging demeanor and insatiable appetite for information made him a formidable journalist who won over colleagues and competitors alike. Max thrived as a reporter with CFO Journal, and he received several awards, from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and the New York Press Club. In both his work and his private life, Max’s innate curiosity, unique intellect and inexhaustible good humor brightened the lives of all who knew him.
Max married Karen (Johnson) in 2005 and they lived in North Plainfield, N.J., welcoming Lila and Fiona in the fold, and Max doted on them just as his beloved parents did on him. The family moved to Gillette, N.J., in 2014.
Max’s parents precede him, as do his grandparents and uncles.
Max is survived by Karen, their two daughters, as well numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, and a cast of characters from all over the country who were lucky enough to be friends with Max.
A luncheon in Max’s honor is set for 11:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at the Basking Ridge Country Club, 185 Madisonville Road, Basking Ridge, N.J. Arrangements are under the direction of the Valley Memorial Funeral Home, 1012 Valley Road, Gillette, N.J. Donations to memorial fund and other info may be found at: https://everloved.com/life-of/k-maxwell-murphy ot Donations to the education and welfare of Lila and Fiona Murphy may be made to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/education-and-wellness-of-lila-and-fiona-murphy&rcid=r01-156571432394-fa8674ee0cc142e6&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w