Home » Former Street Masters Club President Tom “$50” Murphy Has Passed

Former Street Masters Club President Tom “$50” Murphy Has Passed

Thomas “Tom” Murphy
April 11, 1950 ~ May 5, 2023

Why “50DOLAR”?
Tom won his beloved Chevelle in a $50 raffle…
His SD license plate reads “50DOLAR” in light
of the fact that only 7 characters are used.

Tom is a past President of  Street Masters Car Club.
Please keep the Murphy Family in your Thoughts and Prayers.

Thomas J. Murphy, known to many as Tom, passed away on May 5, 2023, at Avera St. Mary’s in Pierre, South Dakota. A memorial visitation will be held from 5:30pm-7:00pm on Tuesday, May 9th at Isburg Funeral Chapel in Pierre. A memorial service will be held at 1:30pm on Wednesday, May 10th at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Pierre. For those unable to attend the services you are invited to watch the live stream on this page the day of the service.

Born on April 11, 1950, in Spooner, Wisconsin, to John and Dorothy (Erickson) Tom was a faith-filled, funny, and kind man who touched the lives of many throughout his 73 years. Growing up in Spooner, Wisconsin, Tom later moved to River Falls, where he graduated from high school. He went on to further his education, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management, a Master of Science in Administrative Studies with an emphasis in Health Service Administration and Human Resources Management, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration.

Tom served his country in the U.S. Navy/Fleet Marine Force from 1968-1971 as a Corpsman for the 3rd Amtracs 5th Marines. His career included working as an adjunct professor for National American University from 1996-2022 and for the State of South Dakota Military and Veterans Affairs from 2002-2009. Tom’s dedication to service extended beyond his professional life, as he obtained the rank of Captain in the Civil Air Patrol and served as the past squadron commander of Pierre Composite Squadron SD038. He was also a plank member of the US Naval Foundation Memorial and a charter member of the USMC Museum.

On October 1, 1977, Tom married the love of his life, Mary Gaulke, in Spooner, Wisconsin. He often spoke of her as a loving, kind, gentle, and wonderful wife who was sent from God. Together, they built a life filled with love, laughter, and shared interests. Tom had a passion for the outdoors, often spending his free time hunting, fishing, and appreciating the beauty of nature. He cherished the first snow of the year, a light rain accompanied by a crack of thunder, and the breathtaking view of a sunset. Tom also enjoyed driving around in his $50 car, which he won in a raffle, and sharing dumb jokes with those around him.

A man of deep faith, Tom wanted others to know that salvation is not earned through one’s own works or actions but is a gift from Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross for us. His faith-filled outlook on life and his kind, funny nature will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Tom is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Mary, and his daughter Heather (Dusty) Pelle of Pierre. He was a proud grandfather to his three granddaughters, Rachel, Brylee, and Brooke, all of Pierre and also survived by a host of nieces, nephews and extended family. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, John and Dorothy, his brother Michael, and a sister at birth.