Clifford James “Butch” Murphy, Jr. - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

Clifford James “Butch” Murphy, Jr.

November 20, 1952 - November 28, 2023

Clifford James “Butch” Murphy, Jr. passed away at 5 p.m. on Nov. 28, in time to have a Miller on the other side. He was 71.

Born on Nov. 20, 1952, in Wilmington, Del., Butch was a longtime resident of New Castle. He graduated from De La Warr High School in 1971 and served in the Army National Guard until 1977. He was a service writer at Price Toyota in New Castle for several years, before he embarked on a 30-year career at Helen’s Sausage House, which was founded by his mother Helen (Murphy) Achenbach and Melvin “Mudge” Achenbach.

At Helen’s Sausage House, Butch created the Sausage Wagon, a mobile version of the restaurant, which he operated for many years before food trucks were trendy. He brought the wagon to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna almost daily and was a great friend to law enforcement officials across the state. As the second-generation owner of Helen’s, Butch ran the store with his wife and inseparable partner JoAnne for decades, ensuring the iconic restaurant was open by 4 a.m. for truckers and hunters.

While customers sometimes encountered Butch’s gruff exterior, no one could miss the twinkle in his eyes. He was beloved by all. Those closest to him knew him as a softie, who was the first to offer help and the first to cry. He loved being surrounded by his family and friends and few left his presence without a kiss on the lips and an “I love you” in their ear.

Butch was a longtime member of the Police & Fire Rod & Gun Club in New Castle, serving two stints as president. Usually found at the club when not at work, he was a member of the day and night shuffleboard leagues for many years. He was also a member of the Irish Parade Group of New Castle, and an avid bowler and golfer. In early adulthood, Butch could be found tearing up the roller rink floor.

He is survived by his beloved wife JoAnne Murphy and ex-wife Linda Stevenson; his sister Diane Murphy Phillips and her husband Wayne; brother-in-law Bob Charles; his children Clifford J. Murphy III and fiancée Meghan Aftosmis, Kerri Hunter and her husband Bruce, and Wayne Lockwood; grandchildren Zack Hunter and wife Kelci, Nik Hunter, Jillian and Delaney Murphy and their mother Jennifer Murphy; great grandchildren Landon and Avery Hunter; nephew Michael W. Phillips and his wife Jessica, niece Amy Phillips Harty, nephew Rob Charles, and cousins Kimberly Newsom and her husband William, and Richard Thomas. He is also survived by several great nephews, Murphy cousins, longtime employees Tina Jamison, Pat Taylor, and lifelong friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Helen Mary (Murphy) Achenbach and Clifford J. Murphy Sr., stepfather Melvin “Mudge” Achenbach, aunt Joan Thomas, aunt and uncle Stella and Layton T.  Arterbridge Jr., sister-in-law Diana Charles, grandparents Mary M. and Raymond C. Knox, Layton T. Arterbridge Sr., and Francis J Murphy and Bertha; and many Murphy cousins.

Butch’s family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at Penn Hospital for their wonderful care. They would also like to extend appreciation to the doctors and nurses at Delaware Hospice during his short time there. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Delaware Hospice, 630 Churchmans Road, Newark, DE 19702 or online by clicking here.

The viewing will be held from 10 am until 12 noon on Thursday, December 7, 2023, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 North DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE, followed by a funeral service and a celebration of Butch’s life at 12 noon. Entombment will follow in Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 North DuPont Highway, New Castle, DE.


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22 Condolences for Clifford James “Butch” Murphy, Jr.

  • JoAnne and family words can’t express the sadness in so many people’s hearts. I can’t count the moments and laughter we shared sitting at the Hole cracking jokes and making memories. Butch’s heart was always full and open to helping others. I believe a lot of that rubbed off onto others. I only wish I could have said “Luv ya Butch” one more time but I believe he knows. Rest easy my friend, Rest Easy

  • I just heard my heart is broken.He was the light at the club. Such a wonderful person . God has another angel he’s up there with the rest of the boys from the club so sorry Joanne .

  • Butch will truly be missed. I always got that hug and kiss when I saw him! My thoughts and prayers are with you JoAnne and all of Butch’s family. Rest easy my friend.

  • My deepest condolences go out to all of Butch’ family and friends. I met him when he was driving the food truck to DCC. I had the pleasure of knowing him for 8 years. He was one of the friendliest, kindest people it was my pleasure to know. I have no doubt he will be sorely missed but heaven has been given it’s newest angel.

  • I am so sorry to hear about Butch and my prayers and love go out to Kerri, Bruce, Nik and Zack and especially Joanne. Butch will be missed terribly.

  • Butch was a longtime friend of mine every time I stopped at Helen’s, but would always say hi and how are you doing he will definitely be missed rest in peace my brother

  • 1971 classmate at DeLaWarr HS with Butch. Sorry to hear of his passing.

  • Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family at this time of loss. May cherished memories of times shared comfort all and Butch rest in eternal peace in God’s Heavenly Kingdom

  • Joanne and family, sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences to all of you at this difficult time.

  • RIP 🙏. I will miss you very much love you

  • My deepest condolences to your family. Butch was an endearing man and will be greatly missed.

  • Butch as we all knew him at James Vaughn was a great man. He always greeted all the officers with a smile. The world lost a great man. RIP my friend.

  • Keeping the entire family in our thoughts and prayers at this time and always. May God hold each of you in the palm of His hand now and forever, and may Butch find peace and comfort in his eternal home.

  • JoAnne and family, so sorry to hear about Butch. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  • Remembering those days of high school and our friendship. You will be missed by your family and friends. RIP

  • Phillips and Murphy family thoughts and prayers on your loss!

  • Love you Butch! Sorry we didnt spend more tome togethet! Love you always! RIP MY DEAR CUZ!💙💙💙💙💙

  • I cant believe I just got to see you and bam your gone! Im so sorry I didnt get to share more time together and pray you RIP MY SWEET CUZ! 💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

  • Kerry so sorry for your loss I played golf with your dad and he was good man

  • Dear JoAnn & family,
    I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your husband Butch. My heart goes out to you and your family. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with all of you during these difficult days ahead. With my deepest sympathy,
    Sharon Nardo

  • Joanne my prayers are with you and the family. You two are truly a symbol of love to each to that cannot be measured . It shined and showed always. Keep your precious memories in your heart always . Prayers to you and the kids❤️❤️

  • As one of the oldest grandchildren in the family, I remember Clifford and Diane as very young children. Their father Clifford was one of my father’s younger brothers. I saw him often at my grandparent’s Francis and Bertna’s home and always enjoyed seeing him. Rest in peace.