Elizabeth H. Murphy

Betty Murphy
Betty Murphy

Elizabeth H. Murphy of Mattituck died on the 29th of April 2016 at 82 years old surrounded by her family.

Elizabeth Jane Hickey was born Oct. 24 1933, to Elizabeth C. and Edward F. Hickey in the Bronx, the youngest of three children. Betty Jane married her childhood friend and neighbor Frank Murphy in 1957 and they had 52 wonderful years of married life. Together they raised five children and welcomed over the years six fantastic grandchildren. She lived a life of engagement and joy.

She was graduated from The College of Mount St. Vincent in the Bronx at 20 years old. Through her life, in particular in her roles as a teacher and guidance counsellor she influenced the lives of literally thousands, teaching in New York City public and parochial schools, Riverhead and lastly at Mattituck High School.

Betty Jane was thrilled to teach multiple generations of families, it gave her great joy to meet a student whose parent remembered her as a teacher. Each year she started her classes by informing her students that she had a special arrangement with the Guidance Department and that they only sent her Ladies and Gentlemen. Further, if an error had been made the student should identify themselves immediately and they could be moved to another class. Only one student ever identified himself in this category and he rethought it before arranging a move, today they remain good friends.

Educated with a college degree at a time when women’s college education was not the norm she worked as a professional, left formal employment to raise a family of five children and multiple pets, returned to the educational workplace and had another full and rewarding career. During the time she worked at home raising her family she also completed multiple graduate degrees. She led by doing, sometimes quietly, and was a proud example of what was then known as Women’s Liberation, known today simply as equality.

After her retirement, in 1995, she remained an engaged member of the community. She volunteered at the Dominican Sisters, the Southold Town Anti-Bias Task Force, Greenport Hospital, Community Action Southold Town and Maureen’s Haven. On her own and with her husband Frank she was a generous supporter of many in the community who were in need in a variety of ways. Her influence was quiet and constructive.

Throughout her life Betty Jane gained a long and varied list of dear and close friends. Today she still counts among her friends those from childhood and at every additional step of her life. An avid bridge player she was part of a group that met for years and cemented wonderful friendships.

A highlight of the early life of her children was the celebratory luncheon upon Richard Nixon’s departure from the White House. This was the start for them of a generational passing of the political torch.

After the death of her husband Frank in 2011 she lived with her daughter Mary and her husband Tony and children Maisy and Charley. They shared great fun and joy together, along with Bernard and Sean, their faithful canine companions.

Betty Jane is survived by six beloved grandchildren; Angela and Claire Smith, Dan and Halle Murphy and Maisy and Charley Claudio. Each of whom gave her joy and pleasure every day that she knew them. Her surviving children are Liza of Bonn, Germany, Michael and Rachel Murphy of Southold, Cathleen of Greenport, Barbara and Tom Smith of Mattituck and Mary and Tony Claudio of Mattituck. Her sister-in-law Rita A. Murphy, a friend since age 14 also survives her along with a legion of nieces and nephews and their children. She was predeceased by her husband Frank, her parents and her two brothers Edward and Tom.

We will miss her every day.

We would appreciate memorial donations to the American Cancer Society at 75 Davids Drive, Hauppauge, NY. 11788 to the Attention of Claire Smith, Community Manager, Relay for Life.

We also thank all the many members of the community who have assisted her in the last years; especially those in the Mattituck Fire Department Rescue Squad, the Emergency Room and nursing staffs at Eastern Long Island Hospital and the employees of San Simeon by the Sound in Greenport. Each and every person encountered was kind, considerate and helpful.

The family will receive visitors Tuesday, May 3, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck. The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 4, at Our Lady of Good Counsel R.C. Church in Mattituck. Interment will follow at Calverton National Cemetery.

This is a paid notice.