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Jeffrey James ‘Jeff’ Murtha, 57, surfing instructor who introduced the magic of the ocean

Jeffrey James ‘Jeff’ Murtha

WILMINGTON — Jeffrey James “Jeff” Murtha, 57, passed away unexpectedly Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, surrounded by the people who loved him.

Jeff was born July 18, 1962, in Bronxville, New York. He grew up in the town of Darien, Connecticut. He attended Plymouth State and eventually ended up in New York City, where he began his career as a stockbroker. He moved to Portland, Maine, and worked for the firm of Tucker Anthony. Jeff eventually moved on from his first career, and decided to join the firm of Silverstreet Development, an organization dedicated to the quality preservation, operation and growth of affordable housing. In 2004, Jeff and his family relocated to Wilmington, where he continued to work as a developer.

Jeff is survived by his wife, Emily, and their three children, Henry, Grace and Charlie; sister, Tracy Crowley, and her husband, William; as well as his brother, Greg, and his wife, Laura. Jeff’s parents, Katherine and Vincent Murtha, preceded him in death. It must be noted that “Uncle Jeff” is also survived by his many nieces and nephews, who loved him dearly. They include, Katie, Colleen, Samantha, Olivia, Emile, Ledger, Dylan, Austin and Garrett.

Jeff’s love of the ocean and the peace that it brought him truly defined him. Sailing was his passion, both in North Carolina and in Maine. If he couldn’t be sailing, he would be trying to get his children to attend any type of music event. Lalapalooza was an annual tradition for Jeff and his children. His love for his dogs was palpable.

He took multiple trips to India with Indo Jax Surf Charities, where he worked with orphaned girls by helping them to discover the magic of the ocean and teaching them to surf. Jeff was most complete when he was watching his three children become the amazing beings that they are today. They were his pride and his joy.

A celebration of Jeff’s life will be held at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov., 19, at Andrews Mortuary, 1617 Market St., Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cape Fear Academy’s Theatre Department, Attention: Jennifer Avery Robison, 3900 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28412; or Wilmington AA Chapter, Intergroup Association, 5901 Wrightsville Ave., Wilmington, NC 28403.

Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.


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