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Mary Emily McMurphy
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Obituary for Mary Emily McMurphy

RICHFORD — Mary Emily (Jacobs) McMurphy, age 91, passed away peacefully at home in Richford on Friday, December 8, 2017, surrounded by family and friends.

Mary Emily is known to her family and friends as Emily. She was born in Waynesville, GA on March 21, 1926 to the late William Henderson Jacobs, Sr., and Marguerite Elizabeth Mattox Jacobs. Emily worked hard and helped raise her 6 younger sisters. She graduated from Nahunta High School a year early, in 1943. After high school, she moved to live with her aunt and uncle in Dothan, Alabama, where she worked in a hosiery factory and in retail for the local FJ Kress store. She was offered a position in a new store opening in Hawaii, but declined because it was too far from family.

While in Dothan, she met Allen McMurphy who was at the time in the Army Air Corps. When Allen was discharged, he went to his family home in New York, but returned to Dothan and Emily married him on Easter Sunday (April 21), 1946. Their son, Michael, was born in Dothan in 1947. In 1949, the family moved to Trout River, New York, where they lived for 2 years. Their daughter, Cheryl, was born on Michael’s birthday in 1950. In 1951, they moved to Richford, Vermont, where Allen purchased a photography studio. Emily became deeply involved in the Richford Community and the First Baptist Church.

The McMurphy family lived a duplex on Intervale Avenue, with dear friends, the Gilpins, living next door. In 1954, Barry was born and became part of the McMurphy-Gilpin “family.” In 1959, the family moved to the current address on North Avenue, where Emily has lived ever since. In 1962, the family was completed with the birth of Kerri.

During her 66 years in Richford, Emily sewed gowns for weddings, dresses for proms, and clothing for all of her children. She supervised seamstresses at a clothing factory in Richford, and then in Enosburg. Emily loved quilting, cooking, making “Grammy-jam,” and gardening. There was always more than enough food for the family and anyone who showed up at the house, most of it from her own garden and canning. She made quilts for underprivileged families and church camp. Emily contributed many of her creations to church sales and silver teas. For a few years, she operated Towne House Gift Shop, selling for local artisans. Emily belonged to Eastern Star, and was a deacon, treasurer, and secretary at her church. She was active with Mothers’ Club at RHS, and played basketball with a group of mothers.

Emily nurtured her children and helped with their activities. She held 4H meetings at home, was a den mother for Cub Scouts, and helped Girl Scouts earn merit badges. One could go on and on with specifics about nurturing her children, but suffice to say she made sure they had happy childhoods and were equipped with the moral standards and work ethic to have good lives.

Emily loved her grandchildren deeply, and ensured they had many happy – and often productive – times with Grandma. They gardened with her, made jam with her, learned to cook from her, played games with her, made new friends introduced by her, went to church with her, and loved her. As one grandchild said, “I will really miss Grandma. She was the quintessential grandmother. So much love all the time.”

Emily’s husband, Allen, died in 2015. She is survived by their children, Michael & his wife Maureen McMurphy of Potomac, MD; Cheryl & her husband Morris “Buzz” Joseph of Carmel, CA; Barry & his wife Christy McMurphy of Lawrence, KS; and Kerri Plante of Richford; grandchildren, Matthew & spouse Amanda McMurphy, Kevin & Spouse Amanda McMurphy, Heather and spouse Hans Kramer, Zach and spouse Ayala Joseph, Mead McMurphy and partner Nathan Schroeder, Nathan Jones-Walker, Jonathan Plante, Shawn Plante; Anthony, Myah, Savannah, Hailey and Payton Emily Plante; Emmett, Vivian, Daly, and Nora McMurphy; Zaia Kramer; Sami and Nora Joseph; and Ryne Schroeder; Sisters Ruth Reddish and Shirleen Thornton of Waynesville, GA; Brother William and Joy Jacobs of Monticello, GA; Brother-in-law James McMurphy and wife Barbara, of Wichita, KS; and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and nephews, and great-grand-nieces and nephews. Emily was predeceased by her parents, brother Southwell, sisters Theresa, Agnes, Mercedes, and Shelba Jean, grandson Patrick McMurphy, and son-in-law Don Plante.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, December 12, at 11:00 am, preceded by a visiting hour at 10:00 am, at the First Baptist Church in Richford. The service will be followed by interment at Richford Center Cemetery. Following interment, there will be a reception (with light refreshments) in the church’s downstairs fellowship hall, to share love and memories.

For those who wish, contributions in Emily’s memory may be made to the Richford First Baptist Church, 30 School Street, Richford VT 05476, or to Franklin County Home Health and Hospice, 3 Home Health Circle, St. Albans, VT 05478.

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Previous Events





10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Richford First Baptist Church

30 School Street
Richford, Vermont 05476





11:00 AM
Richford First Baptist Church

30 School Street
Richford, Vermont 05476

Cemetery Details


Richford Center Cemetery

South Richford Road
Richford, VT 05476


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