In his youth, Frank was recognized for his unusual curiosity, talents, independence, and inventiveness, especially with electronic and mechanical devices. By age 10 he was regularly earning pocket money repairing TVs and more. Frank created his own workshop in the cellar of his home, getting the equipment for his projects from the many junkyards in Somerville and Cambridge that were treasure troves of World War II surplus electronic equipment. He built his own radio station and received his amateur radio operator license at a young age. Because of his electronic acumen, he was part of the Civil Defense Unit in Somerville during Hurricane Donna in 1960, and received a citation from Civil Defense for rescuing elders during the flooding. Frank played guitar for different groups including a band called the El Dorados. He also volunteered at the Little Sisters of the Poor Convent and Nursing Home and expressed fondness for that experience.
Frank graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology where he was V.P. of his class and chairman of the JFK Library Fund, Northeastern University, New Hampshire College, and Nova Southeastern University, earning degrees in Electrical Engineering, an MBA, and doctoral degree in business. He started his career as an enthusiastic electrical engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation. He worked for many technology startup companies including Triad Design, Identicon, Indalec, Kaye Instruments, and Gould Modicon. Later in life, he became a college professor and Chair of Computer Science at Daniel Webster College. He taught computer science and information technology at DWC, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Wentworth Institute of Technology. He was also involved with Pure1Systems and ElderSafe Technologies, Inc. He was an engineer, marketer, and teacher without peer.
Frank was an artist and accomplished guitar player and singer. He was a member of the Rockport Community Chorus, the Chorus Northshore, the Newburyport Choral Society, the LaSalette Faith Community Choir, the First Religious Society Unitarian Universalist Choir and Candlelight Chorale. For many years, Frank was an international traveler and entrepreneur who especially enjoyed working in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. He was a forward thinker in the early days of digital computing, and a recognized technical consultant and business troubleshooter with a wide breadth of experience in complex computer systems development. Frank was well rounded, reading two or three books at a time on science, technology, computers, philosophy, world religions, art, business, and current affairs. He was a longtime member of the First Religious Society Unitarian Universalist Church in Newburyport. Frank was spiritually reflective and considered himself a humanist.
When he first began sailing, he was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He was a member of the American Yacht Club, Newburyport. For many years he enjoyed sailing his boat the Helen Marie with his family out of Arey’s Cove, Pleasant Bay, Cape Cod. Frank passionately shared his love of nature, the sea, art, music, philosophy and especially all things scientific with his sons. While raising his family in West Boxford, Mass., Frank served as Beach Commissioner at Styles Pond, coached sons Matthew and Lucas in soccer and baseball and was active with them in scouting. He was a longtime judge at Masconomet Regional High School Science Fairs and an avid advocate for this style of inspired, resourceful, and internally-found development of the mind and self, well into his professorial years.
In his early work from the 1960s on, he left a legacy in the history of aerospace navigation, computers, and the first large scale integrated digital control systems in the automotive, and defense industries. Frank will be remembered as a man of accomplishment, striving for the best in himself and others. A devoted husband, father and friend, he will be missed by all who had the privilege to have known him.
The Murgida Family wishes to thank the many doctors, nurses, and technicians at MA Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital from many Departments who worked with Frank to determine his courses of treatment. As a scientist, Frank was always prepared to share his research about his treatment plan. This working relationship with medical experts improved his quality of life over many years. The family is especially grateful to Dr. Lucy Young, MEE; Dr. Louis Ercolani, MGH; and Dr. Josef Gendlerman, Internist.
Frank is survived by his loving wife, Rev. Dr. Helen Sampson Murgida of Newburyport; his two sons, Matthew Murgida of Somerville and Lucas Murgida of Santa Ana, Calif.; brother Alan Murgida of Lynn; sister Brenda and brother-in-law Jeff Taylor of Rowley; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Joyce and Joe Sampson of Tucson Ariz.; nieces Christine Sampson of San Francisco, and Kate Taylor of Hawaii; and nephews Joseph Sampson of N.C., and Ben Taylor of Vt.
The Professor Frank T. Murgida Award for Innovative Thinking in computer science and information technology has been established. It will be a yearly scholarship awarded to a creative and resourceful student at Wentworth Institute of Technology, where Frank got his start and closed his career. In lieu of flowers, if you wish to contribute to the award, please make checks payable to Helen M. Murgida for the “Professor Frank T. Murgida Scholarship Fund.”
Family and friends are cordially invited to attend a memorial service and celebration of Frank’s life on April 7, 2018, at 11 a.m. at the First Religious Society Unitarian Universalist Church, 26 Pleasant Street, Newburyport, MA. Burial will be private. Funeral arrangement are under the direction of the Comeau Funeral Home, 485 Main Street, Haverhill, MA. Please visit Comeau Funeral Home on Facebook, or www.comeaufuneral.com.
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