Dennis Murphy believes in God and the power of prayer.
And he believes in showing gratitude and repaying debts.
It’s how he has lived his life and why, at 91, he lovingly tends Morgan Memorial Chapel, shovels snow from its sidewalks and parking lot in winter, keeps it grounds immaculate in summer and performs other daily chores around the tiny west-side First Church of God in Christ at the corner of Spruce Street and Willamette Avenue.
Murphy believes prayers offered by the chapel’s congregation, including his wife Mary Etta, protected him, a master sergeant, and his 200 soldiers, as they landed on Omaha Beach in the second wave of the Normandy invasion in June 1944.
The constant prayers kept him safe, Murphy insists, as he and his men in a combat support outfit followed Gen. George Patton across France and Germany, defeating Hitler’s Third Reich.
Since his return from World War II, Murphy’s life has revolved around his faith, family and church.
He has stayed true to his word. He shovels snow in winter and keeps the grounds of the chapel immaculate in summer. He’s a senior deacon in the church and attends sits in the front pew during services.
“God has been good to me,” he said. “I’ve had a great life.
“As long as I have breath, I’m going to take care of this church.”
Walk with Dennis Murphy to the chapel in this video.