The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

Obituary: Kathleen Alyce Murphy


October 31, 2018

Kathleen Murphy

Lived well and died admirably, on October 12, in Sebastopol, Calif. Kathleen was surrounded in death - as in life - by loving family and friends. She will be missed passionately and sorely by those who came into her life.

Always the inviting hostess, Kathleen loved a good party and had a wonderful whimsy, that ensured the parties she planned were executed with welcoming hugs and culinary grace; where neighbors were family, and family was dear.

Kathleen was born in Sacramento, Calif. on July 28, 1942. Her parents decided to explore Alaska after WWII, and upon arriving in 1949, did not return. Kathleen spent her youth in the small fishing village of Valdez, where she had a memorable childhood, filled with adventure and lifelong friends. She went to University of Alaska in Fairbanks, with hopes of becoming an anthropologist. When family duty called, Kathleen returned home to help, during this time she met Jerry, who was finishing his service in the Army. While away from the family home at her sister's wedding in San Diego, the Great Alaskan Quake of 1964 devastated Valdez. Kathleen spent three days without word of her family. They survived, but the life she had known had not. All had been ruined, including the newly built McGill family home. Having none of the amenities necessary for their own wedding, the two moved to Redding, Calif. in Autumn of 1964. Here they married and had their children. Once in Sonoma County, Kathleen took courses at SRJC, flourishing in many activities: including decorating and cooking. She worked tenaciously as a teacher's aide at Tomales Elementary school for 19 years. Delighting in her role, she designed creative centers that she meticulously planned for her students. During her 42 years in Bloomfield, Kathleen held many roles in the community, always willing to pitch in where work was needed. Kathleen's most profound influence was on her children, building a wonderful family home, and rejoicing in being a mother. In retirement she enjoyed family get-togethers, travelling, gardening, book-club and sitting in the sun on her patio reading. Kathleen's most profound influence was on her children, building a wonderful family home, and rejoicing in being a mother.

She is survived by her devoted husband Jerry, her adoring children: Karen Murphy-Day (Justin) and Chris Murphy (Melissa). Sadly, her three beloved grandchildren Jonathan, Emma and Marie will forever miss the utmost affection Kathleen had for them. She also leaves behind her admiring brothers Lawrence McGill (Trudy) and Jeff McGill. Preceded in death by her parents Wif and Helen McGill, and her younger sister Patty McGill Haltness; Kathleen was a dear Auntie to many who too, will miss her terribly.

Her sense of family and community, her enthusiasm for people, how she greeted all with her uncensored beautiful smile, her creativity and her can-do attitude have all made our lives richer and warmer. Kathleen appreciated greatly the care given to herself and her family by Sutter AIM & Hospice, and we would be thankful for any donation to these tremendous services in lieu of flowers.

A Celebration of Life will be planned for July, 28, 2019, location tba.


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