A longtime state trooper who many thought of as a big brother was laid to rest in Chester on Thursday morning.
Frank Murphy, 58, was electrocuted while trying to help a friend do some home repair work. The coroner said Murphy was in a crawlspace working on a water leak, when he accidentally hit an exposed wire. No one was living in the house at the time, and his body was not discovered until the following morning.
Friends said Murphy loved to help people. The last time Cpl. Jeromy McCloud saw him, it was at an accident scene over the weekend.
Murphy was off duty, but he came to help anyway.
"He was just doing what Frank does, and that's help new troopers, train people, guide 'em," McCloud said.
Murphy joined the force in 1977. Early in his career, he was shot during a traffic stop in Chesterfield County and left for dead. After surviving that ordeal, other troopers saw him as figure who'd always be there.
"We thought maybe, ya know, he was invincible, but accidents happen," McCloud said.
There was not an empty seat at First Baptist Church in downtown Chester for his funeral on a cool morning that felt more like October than August.
Senior Trooper Troy Simpson was one of the last troopers that Murphy trained. He remembers one big lesson that Murphy always tried to drive home.
"He preached common sense," Simpson said. "Treat people like you want to be treated. Treat 'em fair."
As for his sudden and shocking death, no one has really comes to grips with it.
"It's kind of surreal for me, the way he died," Simpson said.
"Still a little disbelief. I think for most of us it hasn't hit yet," McCloud added.
Murphy retired from the Highway Patrol in 2001, worked other jobs, but then came back in 2005. He stayed on the road and worked in the community.
Troopers tell Channel 9 they haven't only lost a fellow officer, but a teacher and true friend.
"It doesn't really hit you that it's one of your own until you get inside, and then, that's when it gets tough," McCloud said.
Murphy was buried Thursday afternoon on his family's Chester County farm.
He's survived by a large family, including his wife, and two daughters.