Murphy Dale Givens, age 76, passed away on December 27, 2020 at his home, following a year-long battle with lung cancer.
He was born on December 12, 1944, in Gatesville, TX, where his young father was stationed in the Army. He spent his childhood in Cullman, Alabama and Caruthersville, Missouri, amongst many beloved cousins and siblings. He served in the Air Force in Amarillo between 1963-1965.
Murphy came to Corpus Christi in 1981 to work for the Caller-Times after years of newspaper journalism in Alabama, Mississippi and Michigan. In 1998, he began writing a weekly column on South Texas history, which he continued for 20 years. He has written or edited 17 books, all relating to Texas history, through Nueces Press. His home office is lined with bookshelves full of Texas history books and filing cabinets full of photos, old newspaper clippings, journals and diaries, that went into his research and writing. Bookshelves, closets and cabinets full to overflowing with books throughout the house attest to his extensive and diverse love of reading.
Up until the end, Murphy had what seemed to be a total recall of facts from these books, as well as lines from classic movies, and Alabama Crimson Tide football stats and standings.
Murphy always shied away from speaking in public, except for his recorded segments on local history that aired on KEDT radio over the years. Anyone who knew him or heard him on radio knows that he had a distinctive, Southern drawl, most suitable for front porch storytelling and reminiscing. For those truly lucky ones, this storytelling may have been followed by a pan of his famous biscuits with sausage gravy, or a slice of his black bottom pie, or a bowl of his chicken and dumplings.
He is survived by Karen, his wife of 41 years; his son, Conor, Corpus Christi; and daughter, Molly, Kansas City, MO area. He is preceded in death by his father, Redell (Dale) Givens; mother, Josephine Givens LeGrand; sister, Teresa Connell; brother, Bobby Givens; and sister, Linda Smith.
In order to help keep everyone safe and healthy, there will be no formal memorial service or gatherings following his cremation. Those who knew and loved Murphy are asked to honor his memory and celebrate his life in your own way, at your own time. Please share your memories and photos on this tribute page, as a lasting keepsake. Murphy would have wanted any donations made in his honor to go to help those who are struggling with food or housing insecurity in these difficult times.
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