Tom Murn still has a couple of voicemails from his father, Thomas Frank Murn, that offer comfort from the pain of losing his dad.
“Call me back. I gotta talk to you about something,” Thomas Frank Murn said, according to his son.
The elder Murn, who had seven children, 18 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, died in July and his son has been playing the saved messages ever since.
“I listen to them so I can hear his voice,” Tom Murn said. “Every day it gets a little bit better, but it hits you like a rock when he’s not there.”
Thomas Frank Murn, a Korean War veteran, engineer and resident of Smithtown, was 86. He had suffered from prostate cancer, a stroke and a heart condition that required a double bypass operation, and was on kidney dialysis for the last five years before he died, his son said.
Tom Murn described his father as a devoted family man who never shied away from telling a joke or lending a hand.
“He was always there,” his son said. “There was always love. He kept the family together.”
Murn was born in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in 1930. He later attended Brooklyn College, where he majored in engineering.
After graduation, Murn joined the Marines and served in the Korean War as a ballistics instructor. Murn served for three years before he came to Farmingdale and worked at Fairchild Republic Co., an aircraft plant.
Murn then went on to purchase a Pepsi Cola distribution company in Astoria, Queens, and move to Smithtown with his wife of 58 years, Phyllis.
The family patriarch garnered a reputation with his children for being tough, but fair, and never overbearing.
Except for the time he stopped Tom Murn from joining the Air Force.
“I signed up and he signed me out,” the son said. “Somehow, he talked the recruiter out of it.”
Murn was always active, right up to his last few months, always running on a treadmill, the younger Murn said.
During that time and through his various illnesses, Murn never lost his humor.
“He always made everyone laugh. He was very funny. He always had a joke. Even in dialysis. He would make all the nurses laugh,” Tom Murn said.
In addition to his son, Murn survived by six other children: Donna Magnussen of Smithtown, John, Kevin of Huntington, Terry Sirignano, George, and Joanne LaCascia.
Murn was predeceased by his wife.
Murn’s funeral Mass was said July 22 at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Smithtown. Burial was at Pinelawn Memorial Park, Pinelawn.