Jeff Murphy, 53, vice president, international, at the International Housewares Association (IHA), passed away June 7 during a hiking trip to Yellowstone National Park. His death was the result of fall near Turkey Pen Peak in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo., according to National Park Service officials.
He went missing on Wednesday and a search began Thursday when his wife notified authorities that he had not checked in. “All of us at Yellowstone extend our sympathy to the Murphy family for their tragic loss,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk in a statement.
“On behalf of IHA and the housewares industry, our collective heart goes out to Jeff’s family,” said Phil Brandl, IHA president & CEO. “Jeff will be missed greatly here at IHA…he was a very intelligent professional, team player and a warm-hearted, kind person. He was a great friend to all, and IHA staff and his many colleagues around the world are struggling with this tragic news.”
Murphy joined IHA Feb. 1. Although his tenure as an official IHA staff member was short, Murphy was a long-time member of the association through his work in international sales for more than 20 years, and a familiar face to the global housewares industry, Brandl said.
Before joining IHA, Murphy served as vice president of international sales at Wilton Brands LLC for more than 13 years, where he presided over a significant global growth for the company. Before that, he was an international sales consult, working with clients such as Nordic Ware, Progressive International, Home Products International (Homz), Pfaltzgraff, Anchor Hocking Glass and Wilton Brands.
Murphy is survived by his wife, Erica, and children, Collin and Megan. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held July 8 from 6-11 p.m. at the Westwood Tavern, Schaumburg, Ill. A GoFundMe account has been established in Jeff’s name www.gofundme.com/jeff-murphy-memorial