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Tommye Sue Murphy
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Birth: Dec. 27, 1942
Lauderdale County
Mississippi, USA
Death: Jun., 2009
Georgia, USA

Tommye Sue Murphy was born in Meridian, Mississippi, on Dec. 27, 1942, and moved with her family to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as a baby where her father John Goodwin Byrd worked in the Nuclear Plant there during the last years of World War II. Her mother, Lena Williamson Byrd, worked with disabled children, and Tommye Sue and her brother John attended Oak Ridge High School. Tommye Sue studied painting and sculpture as both an undergraduate and graduate student at The University of Georgia then lived for several years in Wilmington, N.C., teaching at Wilmington College and meeting heer husband Bob who was home visiting his parents one summer. They married in a chapel in Wilmington and moved to New York with dreams as artists, Bob being a poet. The South called and they returned here to Northeast Georgia to teach. Both of them first in Hart County and then Tommye Sue at Franklin County High School enabling students to discover their own capacities to find beauty in the world around them, to endow them with a sense of their own vision, was part of her love and belief in others' dignity and goodness. Teaching art was a passion and she was alive and every person and thing came to life within the circle of that classroom. She made with love and intelligence more things than can be listed: paintings, bronze sculptures, a green-paper diamond kite with a 12 foot tail, a rotating paper mobile for her children's crib, a gazebo, and helped design her beloved fine arts building on that hill at FCHS. She was wonder-struck and delighted by the beauty that surrounded her everywhere, and helped those around her renew daily their reverence for the natural world and simple pleasure at being in it. She was lucky in friend and student and she loved them as so many loved her. Music moved her, bridge infuriated her partners, she held many world records as the world's slowest eater, and managed to raise with perfect care and love two grateful children along the way, Anna and Paul.

Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. Friday, June 12, 2009, at the Lavonia First Baptist Church with the Rev. Richard Bielski and Mr. Paul Murphy officiating. Burial followed in Lavonia-Burgess City Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Franklin County High School Art Department, 6570 Ga Hwy 145, Carnesville, GA 30521.

Strickland Funeral Home, Lavonia Chapel was in charge of arrangements.
Lavonia-Burgess City Cemetery
Franklin County
Georgia, USA
Created by: Randy Shepherd
Record added: Jun 20, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 38546212
Tommye Sue Murphy
Added by: Michael Dover
Tommye Sue Murphy
Added by: Michael Dover
Tommye Sue Murphy
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Theron Rogers
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

 Added: Jun. 20, 2009

 Added: Jun. 20, 2009

 Added: Jun. 20, 2009

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