In Memory of

Martha Murphy

Full Name: Martha H. Murphy
Date of Birth: January 9, 1931
Date of Death: July 17, 2019
July 22, 2019 - 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM - Henry-Lange Memorial Home Lewistown
Service Information:
July 23, 2019 - 1:30 PM - Henry-Lange Memorial Home Lewistown

Martha H. Murphy , age 88, of 510 East Avenue E, Lewistown, Illinois passed away July 17, 2019 at Richard L. Owens Hospice House, Peoria, IL.

Martha Murphy was born in Lakewood, Ohio on January 9, 1931.  She was preceded in her death by her parents, Walter and Virginia Quallich and sister Nancy Shipman. She is survived by sisters, Virginia (Ginny) Case and Margaret (Peggy) Flynn.

Martha (Marty) was an accomplished classical musician and singer.  She played cello, piano and harp.  Upon high school graduation she enrolled in the School of Music at the University of Illinois and was graduated in 1953.

At the U of I, Marty met Edward Murphy, a veterinary student.   It would be hard to imagine a couple with backgrounds more different.  However, they married in 1952 and in 1953 moved to Lewistown.  Upon settling, Marty briefly taught music while she and Doc Murphy established a veterinary practice.

Six children soon followed.  The veterinary practice thrived and though Doc was the practitioner, Marty was an indispensable partner.  She deftly juggled household and business responsibilities.

Though to a large extent music had to take a back seat, Marty still found time to sing with the "Mother Singers" who performed in the community.  Later, along with Frances Jeppeson and Judy Pereboom she performed with the Lewistown Municipal String Trio. In her later years, she played piano and organ in support of the choir in the Lewistown Catholic Church.  Throughout the years she also privately taught a large number of piano students.  

Marty was very talented in other ways as well.  She rode horses, sewed many a patch, made pints of jellies and pickles, was a very good cook, found time to garden and looked after a great many animals.

To her children though, Marty was Mom.  She was always supportive, always helpful, always devoted.  She did not actively parent very much.  Rather, she taught by example and for the most part we followed.  She taught us music, she taught us to be truthful, she taught us to respect others.  Above all, she was willing to sacrifice for our well being.

Marty never said a bad word about anyone.  No one was beyond redemption.  She was unfailingly optimistic and believed people were inherently good.  

Marty’s faith was very important.  Although there were few other Christian Science worshipers in her community she always practiced her beliefs.
Edward and Martha made their home in Lewistown raising their six children: Timothy Murphy  (Marcy), Moline, IL;  June Behles, Des Plaines, IL;  Linda Murphy (John Vinzant), Gary, IN;  Daniel Murphy (Theresa), Davenport, IA;  Kathleen Arnett (Roger), Lewistown, IL;  and Brian Murphy, Monterery, IL.  9 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren will all miss Grandma.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 PM Tuesday at the Henry-Lange Memorial Home in Lewistown with Reverend Shane Smith officiating. Burial will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lewistown. Visitation will be held from 5-7 PM Monday at the memorial home. Memorial contributions can be made to the Pet Fix Alliance or to the Fulton County Humane Society. To view Martha’s life tribute video or to send online condolences visit

To view video tribute click here.

From: Gerald & Janet RhodesJul 19 2019 5:48PM
Our most sincere condolences to the family...Mrs. Murphy was a nice lady who loved each animal coming through the doors.  She spoke to the animals in human terms..."There is someone here to see you."
From: Diane Jackson Jul 19 2019 7:43PM
With all my heart I send each of you my love at this most difficult time. Martha was an amazing woman, she will be missed
From: Lorenda SpilkerJul 20 2019 9:30AM
Our deepest sympathy to Marty's family. I lived next door and babysat Doc and Marty's children. A great joy to me as I grew up watching the Murphy kids grow up also. Marty's always took the time to speak to me whenever we saw each other. Great memories will be with all of us. Lorenda (Schnarr) and Alvin Spilker.
From: Jonelle (May) Schauble Jul 20 2019 10:13AM
My thoughts and prayers to the family.
From: Pam and Chuck LinvilleJul 23 2019 1:18PM
For the beautiful legacy, inspiration and energy that she brought to this world and beyond. How wonderful that I was one of the lucky ones to know her and recognize this. Love and Light to all   Pam Linville
From: Reba FordJul 23 2019 1:38PM
So very sorry for your loss - I have many fond memories of both she and Doc.
From: Kelly JohnsonJul 23 2019 5:48PM
I am so sorry for your loss. I loved seeing her out riding her bike in all kinds of weather. She always said hello and gave a smile. I also loved hearing her play her stringed instruments. Peace to you all!
From: Kelly JohnsonJul 23 2019 5:48PM
I am so sorry for your loss. I loved seeing her out riding her bike in all kinds of weather. She always said hello and gave a smile. I also loved hearing her play her stringed instruments. Peace to you all!
From: Sheryl & John HardestyJul 24 2019 11:47AM
Linda & Kate and Family
We were so saddened to hear about your mom’s passing. She was such a nice lady, wonderful musician, & Arts supporter and our community. Our thoughts & prayers are with you.
From: Teresa ProsserJul 24 2019 4:22PM
Very sorry about the loss of  your mother.  Our hearts go out to you all.

Tom and Teresa  Prosser
From: Cindy(Hinds)LevingstonJul 25 2019 12:16PM
So sorry Marty passing I remember hearing Linda Chipman and Mrs. Jepperson and Marty play their string instruments at our church such wonderful music. Sorry for your loss
From: Sharon (Nebergall) BossermanSep 3 2019 4:06PM
My sympathies to the family!  It is difficult to lose our parents and become 'the oldest' generation.  Keep your good memories close to your hearts!
From: cindy lou petersonSep 9 2019 2:30AM
a  very warm and friendly lady  with a beaming smile she will be missed

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