Marjorie Murphy

Funeral Mass

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Friday, May 10, 2024
St Aloysius Church
21 Cherry Street
New Canaan, Connecticut, United States

Obituary of Marjorie D. Murphy

The extended Murphy family celebrates the life of the iconic Midge Murphy who left us on May 3, 2024.  Midge was sharp as a tack to the end, and as recently as two weeks ago hosted a guest author talk at her home: the wonderful New Canaan Inn. Her cause of death was living life to its fullest!


Born Marjorie Donnelly in Buffalo, NY, “Midge” as she was universally known was the eldest of three and was predeceased by her brothers Neal and Jim Donnelly.  Midge was ambitious, and a true academic, attending Buffalo’s D’Youville College and graduating in the class of 1948.


While working her way through college at a Buffalo department store, she met her close friend Pat’s brother Fred “Fritz” Murphy, and in 1950 the Midge and Fritz team was formed. The young couple started out in South Buffalo, before moving to suburban Orchard Park, NY in 1967.   As anyone who met Midge knew, she had ten children, with the extended clan now totaling 77: the newest addition born April 27, 2024!


Midge was always a high energy person, which was put to work raising her family.  She was an avid cook and baker, active volunteer, and always had a curious intellect.  She read more books in her life than many libraries have on their shelves. Midge was progressive with an eye towards the future.  Prior to marriage Midge spent two years teaching and returned to the classroom as one of the first Head Start teachers in the 1960s, and taught “Great Books” for years while she still had children at home. Once everyone was launched, Midge went back to school to get her paralegal degree. 


Her favorite place in the world was at “The Cottage,” the little house she and Fritz bought in 1961 on the shores of Lake Erie, just over the border from Buffalo in Crystal Beach, Ontario.  Last summer she was able to spend her 62nd summer at her little slip of paradise on Lake Erie. 


After losing Fritz in 1999, Midge eventually relocated to New Canaan in 2007 where her daughters Sally and Amy and their families lived. Midge dove into New Canaan, becoming an early member (and driver) of “Staying Put.” She was also an avid exerciser with a fondness for water aerobics. Year after year she was a May Fair White Elephant volunteer, and grandmother and great grandmother extraordinaire. Cookie care packages, her famous macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes were made in quantity for the extend Murphy family.


Among her favorite possessions was the collection of mugs from all the colleges and universities her children and grandchildren attended.  For “Mother Midge” everyone knew the question was never if you would go to college, but when do you start?  


Midge was forever enthusiastic, up to try and do anything. She loved to travel, worshipped the sun and was a cheerleader for absolutely everyone.  Her memory was legendary and she quickly got to know more information about anyone she met than often their closest relatives knew - and she never forgot! 


Midge is survived by all of her ten children, Marjorie (Terry Culliton) of Buffalo, NY, Laurie (Robert Silber) of Warren, VT, Marta of Waitsfield, VT, Sally Campbell (Kim Campbell) of Warren, VT,  Trish (Bob Blair) of Concord, NH, Bob of Elma, NY,  Dino of Manhattan, Amy (John Carroll ) of New Canaan, CT,  Neal (Alicia Murphy) of Washington, DC, and Brendan (Gabriella Steinmetz) of Chapel Hill, NC.  In addition, “Mother Midge The Great” (MMTG) as she is known by the next generation, is survived by 24 grandchildren, and 22 great grandchildren!


A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday May 10, 2024 at 11:00 am at St. Aloysius Church, in New Canaan, immediately followed by a luncheon at the Waveny Mansion, in Waveny Park.  In lieu of flowers donations to benefit Waveny Life Care Network would be a perfect way to honor Midge and those who made her last years so full, warm and safe.  For those who are able to join the celebration, in honor of Midge please wear the bright colors she so loved, and sunglasses!

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