December 17, 2009


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Lawrence C. Murdoch Jr., economist

Lawrence Corlies ”Larry” Murdoch Jr., 83, of Chestnut Hill, an economist and former vice president of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, died Dec. 10 of renal failure at Chestnut Hill Hospital.

Mr. Murdoch was vice president and secretary of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve when he retired in 1992 after 37 years of service to the agency where he was responsible for communications and analysis of business conditions.

During his tenure, he oversaw construction of the Federal Reserve Bank building on Independence Mall, a task that involved purchasing the land, choosing an architect and selecting artwork, among which was the Alexander Calder mobile in the building’s entryway.

For one year, from 1971 to 1972, Mr. Murdoch was vice president and chief economist of First Pennsylvania Bank.

Kate O’Neill, Mr. Murdoch’s stepdaughter who works for the Chestnut Hill Business Association, described her stepfather as a “master communicator” who enjoyed giving talks to business groups “where he explained economic nuance with an uncanny mix of wit and wisdom.”

Even after retirement, she added, Mr. Murdoch was a much-sought-after topical speaker – a self-described “stand-up economist” who could demystify the economy and entertain at the same time.

Mr. Murdoch also was an artist and a cartoonist in the style of James Thurber. His watercolors had recurrent themes of home, family and neighborhood with his signature humor a feature of each one. His holiday cards were famous, and his artwork was frequently donated to benefit local organizations.

Born in Chestnut Hill Hospital, Mr. Murdoch was a lifetime resident of the community. He attended Chestnut Hill Academy and graduated from William Penn Charter School. He received both his bachelor’s degree and his master’s in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

From 1948 to 1954 he served in the Navy as a supply corps officer on a destroyer in the Mediterranean.

Mr. Murdoch, a direct descendant of officers who served with Gen. George Washington at Valley Forge, was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, a fraternal organization founded by those officers.

He served on the society’s board of directors, as well as on those of the Chestnut Hill Community Association, the Chestnut Hill Parking Foundation, the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment, Fort Mifflin, Cliveden House and the Noreen O’Neill Foundation for Melanoma Research.

He was an avid fisherman, sailor and squash player.

In addition to his stepdaughter, he is survived by his wife, Eleanor; a daughter, Ann Murdoch Sutton; a son, Lawrence C. Murdoch III; a stepson, Alfred O’Neill, and seven grandchildren. A brother, Sam, and a stepdaughter, Noreen O’Neill, preceded him in death.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Oaks, Pa., where Mr. Murdoch will be buried. Friends may pay their respects afterwards at 1 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill.

Memorial donations may be made to the Noreen O’Neill Foundation for Melanoma Research, 3601 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.


Jeanne A. Pio

Jeanne A. Pio, 86, formerly of Wyndmoor, died Dec. 8 of vascular dementia at Spring House Estates in Lower Gwynedd.

Mrs. Pio, had for many years quietly supported community groups in Chestnut Hill. She was the widow of Elmo Pio, president of Bartolomeo Pio Inc., a wine-manufacturing firm that had operated in Chestnut Hill for 26 years.

The former Jeanne Infantino, Mrs. Pio was born and raised in Library, Pa.

She was an avid golfer and excelled at the sport for many years.

She is survived by a son, Bartolomeo; daughters Delia Schulte and Gina Cossman, and six grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Dec. 11 at Our Mother of Consolation Church in Chestnut Hill. Interment was at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to the Gladney Center for Adoption, 6300 John Ryan Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76132.             – WF


Gordon C. Campbell, executive

Gordon C. Campbell, 79, formerly of Wyndmoor, a retired banking executive and community leader, died Dec. 7 of respiratory failure at Chestnut Hill Hospital.

Mr. Campbell recently moved to The Hill at Whitemarsh after living in Wyndmoor for 42 years. He also maintained a residence in Stone Harbor, N.J.

Mr. Campbell retired from PNC bank in1994 after serving for 13 years as vice president and manager of personal financial planning for trust clients. Earlier he had worked for The Hay Group Management Consultants as director of personal financial management and at the Alan Wood Steel Co. in various management positions.

Mr. Campbell also had held positions of leadership in many community and charitable groups. He was the founder and former chairman of the Chestnut Hill Division of the American Heart Association and was a member and past director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). He was a board member and past president of the Republican Club of Springfield Township.

Born in Philadelphia, he was raised in Wyndmoor and graduated from the William Penn Charter School. He received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

He served as an officer in the Air Force from 1952-1954 and was a member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club all of his adult life.

Mr. Campbell is survived by his wife of 51 years, Judy; a daughter, Gretchen; a son, Christopher, and eight grandchildren.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. 8000 St. Martins Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19118.

Memorial donations may be made to the above church or to RSVP of Montgomery County, 350 Sentry Parkway, Building 640, Suite 100, Blue Bell, PA 19422

– WF



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