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Nathan R. Murphy
Nathan Murphy, the son of Velma and the late Ralph Murphy, grew up alongside six siblings in Alton, Mo. In 1990, when Nathan was just 23-years-old, he became the Chief of Police for the City of Alton. He spent three years with the city before resigning to become the Chief Deputy for the Oregon County Sheriff’s Department on January 1, 1993. While on duty on February 19, 2001, Nathan’s vehicle was struck head-on by a vehicle driven by a man being pursued by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Nathan died from injuries he sustained in the collision.
During the time Nathan worked for the Alton Police Department, he became ill with a type of cancer called Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which he battled until his sudden death. Even though he suffered through two bone marrow transplants and numerous chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Nathan managed to keep an upbeat outlook on life. He never complained about pain or feeling ill. Throughout the cancer treatments, he continued to report for work.
He is remembered for being the kind of person who would go to the end of the county to help a woman who had fallen from her chair, or take groceries to someone shut in by an ice or snowstorm, or help someone who was lost or stranded on the Eleven Point River. Though he was very ill at times, Nathan continued to respond to fire and emergency calls, vehicle accidents, and other emergencies. One of Nathan’s good friends remarked, “He was wise beyond his years and taken before his time.”
Nathan did so much for so many, and asked for so little in return. He is deeply missed by friends, family, colleagues and all those whose lives he touched.
Eddie J. Johnson, JR
Police Officer Eddie Johnson was killed in a single vehicle crash while responding to a structure fire at a home in Royal Oak, approximately six miles west of Alton.
During the response his patrol car left U.S. 160 fives miles west of Alton, struck a driveway entrance, and overturned several times.
Officer Johnson also served as the fire chief of the Alton Volunteer Fire Department, as well as a reserve deputy with the Oregon County Sheriff's Office.
Survivors include; his wife Venita, three children, Victoria, Misty and Jordan, his father, Eddie J. Johnson, SR, numerous other relatives and friends.
Preceding him in death; his mother, Linda Johnson, one brother, Randy Johnson and one sister, Lovella.