Lawrence Corlies Murdoch Jr., 83, of Chestnut Hill, a former vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, died of complications from Parkinson's disease Dec. 10 at Chestnut Hill Hospital.

Mr. Murdoch grew up in Chestnut Hill and graduated from William Penn Charter School. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in business administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

He served in the Navy from 1948 to 1954 as the Supply Corps officer on a destroyer in the Mediterranean.

After his discharge, Mr. Murdoch joined the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He eventually became vice president and secretary and was responsible for communications and analysis of business conditions.

In the 1970s, Mr. Murdoch oversaw construction of the Federal Reserve Bank building on Independence Mall and selected the art for the lobby, including Alexander Calder's White Cascade mobile.

After retiring in 1992, Mr. Murdoch was much sought after as a speaker and self-described "stand-up economist," his family said.

Starting at age 5, he drew cartoons, and his work, done in watercolors, was popular with friends and family. He often donated cartoons to benefit local organizations.

He was well-known for his holiday cards, said his wife, Eleanor. This year, he had been working on a card titled "Snows HMO," showing Santa as a physician tending a sick reindeer.

Artist Howard Watson, Mr. Murdoch's teacher at the Woodmere Art Museum, called him "the light of the watercolor class."

Mr. Murdoch served on several boards, including the boards of Cliveden House and the Chestnut Hill Community Association. His ancestors fought in the American Revolution, and he was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, founded by officers serving Gen. George Washington.

He enjoyed fishing, sailing, squash, political trivia, and limericks.

In addition to his wife of 29 years, Mr. Murdoch is survived by a son, Lawrence III; a daughter, Anne Sutton; a stepdaughter, Kate O'Neill; a stepson, Alfred O'Neill; and his former wife, Patricia. A stepdaughter, Noreen O'Neill, died in 2000.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 126 Black Rock Rd., Oaks. Burial will be in the churchyard. Friends may call at 1 p.m. today at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave., Philadelphia.

Memorial donations may be made to the Noreen O'Neill Foundation for Melanoma Research, 3601 Spruce St., Room 472, Philadelphia 19104

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.