Community man: Frank Murphy was the driving force behind Angel Flight in Warwick.
Community man: Frank Murphy was the driving force behind Angel Flight in Warwick.

Earth Angel will be truly missed

HE spent the past four years working tirelessly as an Angel Flight ‘Earth Angel’, and now it’s the angels’ turn to look after Frank Murphy, who passed away at Warwick Hospital on Sunday evening.

For long-time friend and associate Graham Buchner, Frank’s death will leave a “huge hole” in the community groups he was involved with.

These include the Warwick Golf Club, Angel Flight and the Warwick and District Community Road Safety Group in which he became a staunch advocate for making Southern Downs roads safer.

“He will be sadly missed for his service and dedication to road safety,” Mr Buchner said yesterday.

“I’ve known him for as long as 30 years – he was a Southern Cross representative who sold irrigation equipment when I stumbled across him.

“It was only in the last few years he became interested in road safety and we worked closely together on the committee.”

Mr Buchner said the friendly community man would always be remembered for his hard work and dedication.

“The beauty of (his volunteering) was that he was retired and could spend more time on his passions,” he said.

“And with Angel Flight, he was the mouthpiece and the leader of it here in Warwick.”

Angel Flight pilot Bruce Fanning yesterday recalled what many of the community who knew Frank would attest to – his gift of the gab.

“He was one of those fellows who just loved getting on the phone and talking to people,” Mr Fanning said.

“His biggest asset was getting on to his contacts and getting things going – he will sorely be missed.”

Mr Fanning began working with Frank when he started Angel Flight in Warwick almost four years ago.

“I was an Angel Flight pilot and he formed a group of Earth Angels, organising fundraising for cancer patients around Warwick,” he said.

“He did a lot of work trying to instigate help in town like talking to doctors and setting things up – he was really proud of the last golf day in aid of Angel Flight which was the most successful so far.”

Angel Flight director and operations manager Terry McGowan was proud to have known Frank, who he described as “a tireless worker”.

“I knew Frank extremely well, working with him over four years – in the time Frank has been fundraising for us he would have raised in excess of $60,000,” Mr McGowan said.

“My wife and I were invited by Frank to stay with him and his wife Val when we attended some of the functions in Warwick – he was so generous.

“He was always so positive – even when he was told all those years ago he had cancer he was so positive.”

Mr McGowan said you would always see Frank at the various race days at Allman Park spreading the message about Angel Flight.

“It was always Frank and his six or eight helpers selling Angel Flight bears and merchandise – we’re only a small charity and it’s because of Frank a lot of people now know about us and how we help cancer patients by flying them to treatments,” he said.

“He will be sorely missed by all of us.”



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