It is with much sadness that we inform you of the passing of Dr. Sean Buller Murphy on March 16, 2017 in his sleep at the Chateau Westmount in Montreal. Dr. Murphy led the Department of Ophthalmology as chairman for many years, and training a large number of current faculty who carry on Dr. Murphy’s values and principles to the next generations of ophthalmologists.
Dr. Murphy was the grandson of Dr. Frank Buller, who was the first in Montreal to practice modern ophthalmology (and whose bust is proudly displayed in the waiting area of the McGill Academic Eye Centre). Dr. Murphy was an undergraduate at Harvard College and received his medical degree from McGill in 1947. He joined McGill’s Department of Ophthalmology in 1955 and was appointed Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at the Royal Victoria Hospital and Professor and Chairman of the McGill Department of Ophthalmology in 1975, where he served until 1986, when he was appointed Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology. His tremendous devotion to the department was manifested when he returned from semi-retirement at their request to serve as Interim Chair from 1991-1993.
Dedicated to his patients, to his faculty, staff, and residents, Dr. Murphy was beloved by all. Under his tutelage, the department became a leading centre for ophthalmology in Canada. Among the long list of his honours and awards, he was awarded the Order of Canada, the medal of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, and received their lifetime achievement award in 2007. His book entitled “Portraits of Ophthalmology at McGill University 1876-1990” can be found on the department’s website at https://www.mcgill.ca/ophthalmology/about-us/history.
In addition to his rich professional life, Dr. Murphy was an accomplished watercolourist, and was a supporter of the arts and museums. He served as President of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and was active at the museum until recently.
We send our deepest sympathy to the family. For those who would like to attend his memorial service on April 1, 2017, details are in his obituary the Montreal Gazette at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/montrealgazette/obituary.aspx?n=sean-buller-murphy&pid=184681331 .
March 31, 2017