John Anthony Murphy, 64, a teacher and guidance counselor in area schools for 35 years, died Oct. 31 of a heart attack at his vacation home in Shepherdstown, W.Va. He lived in Fairfax County.
Mr. Murphy was a teacher and guidance counselor in Fairfax County public schools for 29 years before spending the past six years at schools in Montgomery County. When he died, he was a counselor at Bethesda's Walt Whitman High School, where he had worked since 2002.
He came to the Washington area in 1966 while stationed here with the Navy. He began his teaching career in 1968 at National Cathedral School in the District, where he taught history for a year.
In 1969, he joined Fairfax County schools as a social studies teacher at Falls Church High School, serving nine years as the department chairman. He spent his last two years at Falls Church as a counselor before moving to J.E.B. Stuart High School in 1980 as a counselor.
Mr. Murphy was a counselor at Oakton High School from 1982 to 1984 and at Lake Braddock Secondary School from 1984 to 1991. He was guidance director at Chantilly High School from 1991 to 1998.
He taught adult education classes for 15 years in Fairfax County. He also was a junior and senior class sponsor, a faculty representative to the superintendent's advisory council and a teacher of advanced placement American history.
In 1998 and 1999, he split his time as a counselor between Col. Zadok A. Magruder and Rockville high schools in Montgomery. He was a counselor at Magruder in 1999 and 2000 before becoming resource counselor at Sherwood High School from 2000 to 2002. He joined Walt Whitman as a counselor in 2002.
Mr. Murphy was born in South San Francisco and graduated cum laude from Princeton University. He received a master's degree in the teaching of history from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., in 1965, and a master's degree in guidance and counseling from George Mason University in 1978.
Survivors include his wife of 38 years, Elizabeth Drummon Murphy of Fairfax County; two children, Sharon Mikula of Fairfax County and Kevin Murphy of the city of Fairfax; two sisters, Jean Rennick of Herndon and Lois Mortensen of Grants Pass, Ore.; and a grandson.