Jean Chester Smith Murphy, obituary

Posted:  Sunday, February 11, 2018 - 8:15pm
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Jean Chester Smith Murphy, 94 of Rockland, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 9, 2017.

Jean, wife of Larry and mother of Pamela and Marshall, lived a life full of love and focus on what mattered to her the most; her family, pets, friends and the environment. 

Born in Winchester, Massachusetts, on November 16, 1923 and raised in nearby Turners Falls, Massachusetts, Jean was the only child of the daughter of Donald R. Smith and Prudence Greanelle Smith.  Upon graduation from high school in Turners Falls, Jean attended Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, graduating in the class of 1946 with a degree in English.

Armed with a college diploma and a strong drive to succeed, Jean began her professional career in the advertising industry, working in advertising agencies in both New York City and Portland, Oregon.

Following a return to the East Coast, Jean turned her love of the New England outdoors into an active membership with the Appalachian Mountain Club or the “AMC” as it is still commonly referred to as.

It was through the AMC the Jean met Larry Murphy, her husband of 51 years and the love of her life.

Jean and Larry’s early years of marriage were spent in Southborough, Massachusetts, where Larry taught at the Fay School and summers were spent at Medomak Camp for Boys in Washington, where Larry was a staff member for many years.

 In 1972, Jean and her family made Maine their full-time home turning their summer home in Waldoboro into a year-round residence.

With Larry teaching at Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, and the children growing into young adults, Jean devoted her time to her family while working for several small companies in the Midcoast region of Maine and being an active member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). 

It was also during this time that Jean with Larry became active members of the both the Universalist Church in Rockland  and the Mid-Coast Audubon Society.  Jean and Larry were fixtures in both organizations and assumed leadership roles with the church and the society.  Both institutions were important to Jean because they represented to beliefs she held dear, a love of the environment and the friendship, tolerance and love that is the hallmark of the Universalist religion.

Jean and Larry left their beloved home in Waldoboro and moved to Rockland in September of 1999 to be closer to friends and their church.  Their lives together continued until Larry passed away in September of 2012. While Jean continued to live life well, she missed Larry daily.

Jean is survived her son, Marshall Murphy, and his wife, Andrea Murphy, her daughter Pamela Wallace and four grandchildren, Leslie Wallace Bray, Emma Murphy, Elise Wallace and Elliott Murphy.

Jean’s passing has left family and friends with sadness but also with many fond memories of her life with us.  A celebration of Jean’s life will occur in the summer of 2018 with family and close friends. 

Pamela and Marshall and their families would also like to thank the Homestead of Cushing  on their extraordinary compassion for and care of Jean in her final years.

Those wishing to donate a gift in memory of Jean may consider donations in her name to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the Mid-Coast Audubon Society in Rockland, ME.