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Obituary: Murphy, Gloria Stokes

MURPHY, Gloria S.

Gloria Stokes Murphy, 87, passed away on August 26, 2012. As a lifelong resident of Spokane, Mrs. Murphy grew up in one of the most influential, pioneering, Black families in the area. Her father, Frank Allen Stokes was the President of the Northwest Chapter of the NAACP. As a child she was introduced to some of the most prestigious Black leaders of the time including Thurgood Marshall, Langston Hughes, and Booker T. Washington. She was a charter member of the first Black Girl Scout Troop in Spokane and in 1942 she graduated with honors from North Central High. She received her B.A. degree from Whitworth College and became the first Black female research scientist hired by Kaiser Aluminum. During WWII, she voluntarily joined the war effort and served overseas in Korea and Guam where she met her future husband, Howard David Patrick Murphy. They were married for 50 years until his death in 2001. Gloria taught 5th Grade at Arlington Elementary for twenty years. After her retirement, she was able to travel to Hawaii, Europe - Italy, one of her favorite places, the Panama Canal, and Aruba, even went parasailing in Mexico. She was an avid cribbage and bridge player and an accomplished cellist. She delighted in being a part of the Bell Choir at her church. A lover of life, she was excited about learning new skills…she learned to “throw” pottery by hand, and to make perfumed soaps. She will always be remembered for her keen intellect, her zest for life, acerbic wit, wry sense of humor, and her love and devotion to her family. She is survived by three children, Shannon Murphy and Kevin Murphy both of Overland Park, Kansas; David Murphy of Gilbert Arizona; six grandchildren: Kyleigh, Jasmine, William “Maxwell” and Maya Johnson; Megan and David Stokes Murphy. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 22nd, at 11:00 a.m. at the Covenant United Methodist Church, 15515 N. Gleneden Dr., Spokane, Washington. In lieu of flowers the family respectfully requests that donations be made in her honor to Kansas City Hospice House, 12000 Wornell Rd., Kansas City, Missouri 64145.
Private inurnment at Riverside Memorial Park.