Mary Elizabeth Murphy (Beth), 71, was a long-time resident of Yonkers who passed away on Thursday, July 14, 2022.
Beth was born on March 1, 1951 in Yonkers, New York to Mary and Augustine Sandstrom. Beth was one of five children and the second youngest of five: Susan, Richard, Robert and Catherine. She was the loving wife of Thomas Murphy, wonderful mother to Erin and Matthew Murphy and proud grandmother to August, Sofia, Miles, Luke and Teresa.
During Beth's younger years, she was a library page at Yonkers Library, fostering an enduring interest in books. She saved all her earnings to buy her first car! Beth attended Marymount College for her bachelor's degree and Pratt Institute for her master's degree in Library Science. It is no surprise that books became one of Beth's passions in life. She was able to read a book and summarize it in one day. Her children would find her many times in the basement, in her favorite rocking chair, reading one of her books. After she graduated from Pratt Institute, she worked in Westchester schools as a librarian/ media specialist. She was a director of a nursery school for a short period of time before she retained a position as a librarian and Rights and Permission Officer at Harper and Row Publishers.
In 1970, Beth met what would be her future husband (Tom) at a dance at Glen Island Casino. Both Beth and Tom were destined to meet that night. When their friends decided not to go to the dance, Beth and Tom both attended solo. That night they danced the night away. On June 24, 1973, Beth and Tom married at St. Mary's Church in Yonkers, New York. The spontaneity that brought them together continued as they traveled far & wide after they were married. Beth was known by friends as "sporty and adventurous," and in one memorable instance led a close friend on an unguided ATV tour through the mountains of Vail, CO. Returning dirty and happy from this particular jaunt, it was clear she was making memories that would last a lifetime.
Beth delighted in her children, Erin and Matthew, and was a loving, active, and fun mom. She planned summer trips with cousins and friends to the beach, road trips to DC and Philadelphia with a mandatory stop at Cracker Barrel along the way. There were always outdoor pursuits: hikes at Cranberry Lake, the Duck Pond in Crestwood to visit the geese, summers on Peconic Bay, pool days, and skiing trips. All the while, she took many photos of the family, and wrote detailed notes for each photo she later organized in albums.
Anyone who knew Beth, knew that she was an extraordinary cook and hostess. She spent hours meticulously preparing elaborate meals for her family and friends. She knew all the best stores to get her ingredients. Her cookbooks were carefully marked up with her favorite recipes and cook's notes. Sometimes she would make a specially prepared meal for a friend with a particular ingredient and hide it away just for them. For her, love was in the details.
Beth's office in her home told a story of her many hobbies and wide interests. She was fascinated with astrology, and kept a map of the sky and constellations above her desk. She could identify planets and constellations in the night sky. Beth was creative. She sewed her own wedding gown, hemmed her children's clothes, knit scarves, and would find unique art and handmade items at the many craft fairs she attended. She had a keen eye for photo composition: she won local awards for two photos of the Bronx River after it flooded one year. Above her desk, she kept a bookmark that read: "Open Your Mind: Read" and a quote which read: "Now is the only time you own." Those were her life mantras, and she lived them to the fullest for as long as she was able.
Friends and family who wish to honor Beth's memory are encouraged to make a memorial donation in her name to the Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org), or spend some time immersed in a good book.
A visitation will be held at Sinatra Memorial Home, 499 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10704 on Sunday, July 17, 2022 from 1-5pm. A funeral mass will take place on Monday, July 18, 2022 at 10am at Annunciation Church, 470 Westchester Ave, Crestwood, NY 10707, followed by interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 10 West Stevens Avenue, Hawthorne, NY 10532.
The funeral mass will be live streamed. You may watch by clicking the link below at 10:00 AM on Monday, July 18th.