|Birth: ||Oct. 26, 1925|
|Death: ||Apr. 21, 2004|
Donna Belle Murphy of Murfreesboro died at Stonecrest Medical Center on April 21, 2004. Mrs. Murphy, 78, the widow of Rev. James P. Murphy, was a bookkeeper for Baptist Hospital and a piano teacher. Services were April 24 at Raleigh North Baptist Church. Burial was in Northridge/Woodhaven Cemetery. Munford Funeral Home Millington Chapel was in charge of the arrangements. Survivors include four daughters, Amy K. Murphree of Murfreesboro, Ann Todd of Memphis, Amelia Murphy Bell of Memphis and Donna Annette Ripley of Burlison; a sister, Nora May Crill of Bartlett; and four grandchildren. (Published in the Covington Leader week of 4-28-2004)
Additional information provided by Melissa (Tolene) Rura:
Donna Belle Murphy was born on October 26, 1925, in Colony, Kansas, to Webster and Hallie Moore on the occasion of the 6th birthday of her sister, Nora May Crill.
Early in life she displayed a talent for music through her ability to play piano "by ear" and began taking lessons at an early age.
She was valedictorian of her high school graduation class at Bloom High School in Bloom, Kansas, in 1943. She later attended Winfield College in Winfield, Kansas, where she studied to be a concert pianist under the tutelage of Mr. Vernon Sheffield.
In 1951, she moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where she worked as a bookkeeper at Baptist Memorial Hospital. She resided with her sister and brother-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. Bruce A. Crill, who acted as matchmakers by introducing her to a college buddy of Dr. Crill's from his Vanderbilt days, Rev. James (Jim) P. Murphy. Donna and Jim were married on February 14, 1952, at Grimes Memorial Methodist Church in Memphis, with the Crills serving as Best Man and Matron of Honor and the groom's father, Rev. Joseph P. Murphy, conducting the ceremony.
The Murphys had five children: Elizabeth Ann Todd, born November 13, 1952; the late Michael Wayne Murphy, born November 29, 1955; Amy Murphy Murphree, born April 3, 1958; Amelia Murphy Bell, born April 17, 1964; and Donna Annette Ripley, born January 17, 1966. Donna was also blessed with four grandchildren, who brought her great joy after she was widowed in 1988: Christopher James Murphree and Justin, Michael, and Gabrielle Ripley.
During their thirty-six years of joint service to the Methodist Church, my parents shared their love of God through preaching and music. Mother served as church pianist/organist and soloist. Our home was unique in that anyone who came to visit was always hugged and then offered nourishment for both their body and soul. Blessings for each meal were sung at our house.
Mother was a gifted woman who shared her love of God through her music and poetry. As a piano teacher, she taught as many as thirty students per week. She charged a paltry amount for lessons so that she could share her God-given talent with others. She was pleased that several of her students went on to become church pianists. As a poet, mother's gift with words allowed her to create numerous poems which were published in local newspapers, as well as in many church bulletins. Most of her poetry expressed her deep and abiding faith in God. Several poems were published in The National Library of Poetry.
Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 1999. Despite the ravages to her memory, her sweet spirit always remained. She gave regular hugs and kisses to everyone! One of the emergency room technicians was attempting to take a blood sample. After a time, he apologized for bothering her and hoped he had not hurt her. She turned her head towards him and said so sweetly, "That's all right." She died from staphylococcal pneumonia on Wednesday, April 21, 2004, at Stonecrest Medical Center in Smyrna, Tennessee. My father died sixteen years earlier on the same day (April 21, 1988)--a reminder of their deep and abiding love for each other.
Mother was laid to rest beside Daddy on April 24, 2004, at Northridge/Woodhaven Cemetery in Millington, Tennessee.
---Amy Murphy Murphree
Printed in the Memphis Annual Conference Journal of the United Methodist Church in 2004
James Porter Murphy (1917 - 1988)*
Northridge Woodhaven Chapel and Cemetery
Created by: Carole McCaig
Record added: Aug 25, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21163459