Ellen Murphy

Obituary of Ellen Murphy

Ellen Sarah Murphy, 70, of 25 Damon Street, Newport, RI, died suddenly Wednesday, January 30, 2008, at Rhode Island Hospital. Born in Cambridge, MA to the former Massachusetts Governor Charles Fitzgerald and Marion L. Hurley, Ellen graduated from Jeanne d'Arc Academy and Marymount College at Tarrytown. After her graduation from college, she worked for John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign before marrying Arthur William Murphy in 1961. She and her husband moved to Virginia while Arthur completed his law degree before the couple moved to Newport 46 years ago. Since that time, Ellen has been an active member of the Aquidneck Island community, volunteering for such agencies as the International Council of Visitors, The Boys and Girls Club, The Newport County Mental Health Center and various other local charities. Her work career was as diverse and interesting as she was. She was a pioneer aerobic dance instructor, worked for two terms for the Secretary of State's office, and refurbished the then, vacant Eisenhower House into a thriving wedding and convention center. She also worked for the Newport Art Museum and most recently was the initial Coordinator for the Newport County Fund of the Rhode Island Foundation. Known as a consummate hostess, Ellen loved entertaining and welcoming everyone to her home. Her many friends will always remember her quick smile and generous spirit, so much so that her family joked that she was the "unofficial mayor" of Newport. She loved taking long walks, playing golf, gardening, cooking, and most importantly, laughing. All in all, she was a dedicated friend, a loving mother, a generous grandmother and committed wife. She is survived by her husband Arthur William Murphy and her children Henry Joseph Murphy and wife Nina, David Brendan Murphy and wife Susan, Lucia Murphy Jaccaci and husband Tony and seven grandchildren: Emily Grace Murphy, Ellie Sarah Murphy, Sophie Patricia Murphy, Nicholas Arthur Jaccaci, Samuel August Jaccaci, Benjamin Alexander Jaccaci and Natalie Katerina Murphy. Ellen was also the sister of Charles F. Hurley Jr, Nancy L. Quinn and the late Marion O'Connor. She was predeceased by her daughter Sarah Ann. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Newport County Fund of the Rhode Island Foundation, One Union Station, Providence, RI, 02903. Calling hours will be on Sunday February 3rd from 1-5pm at O'Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St. in Newport. Her funeral mass will be at St. Mary's Church on Monday February 4th at 10 am. Burial at St. Columba Cemetery, Middletown.
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