NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

October 26, 2013

Molly D. Murphy


Newburyport, MA — Molly D. Murphy died Oct. 18, weeks after a brain tumor was discovered. She was a courageous woman who by declining surgery and treatment gave us all an opportunity to celebrate her life during her last days. She was 84 years old.

Molly Dorsett Murphy was the daughter of Rowell and Mary Dorsett of Charlotte, North Carolina and was a graduate of Marjorie Webster College in Washington, DC where she earned her degree in Elementary Education.

In 1950 she married the late Robert "Bob" James Murphy at The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland upon his graduation. He died in 2010. Together they plotted their course along the Atlantic seaboard with stops in North and South Carolina, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Their retirement goal was to visit every harbor they could particularly in Maine.

She was a devoted mother and grandmother and was most proud of raising five daughters. Molly’s southern charm amplified her poise, grace and beauty that were admired by all who knew her. A passion for history, reading and interesting people, she found focus in her love of biographies with the story of Kathryn Graham a favorite. She delighted in listening to jazz and classical music, participating in good conversation and the regular company of family and friends including her book and knitting club friends and exercise group.

She was an active volunteer. During the 1960s and 1970s she was a tour guide in Baltimore City, volunteered many hours for her daughters’ schools and was also an active member in the garden club. In the 1980s she became manager of Talbots in Hamilton, Massachusetts and then helped with Talbots’ corporate expansion into the mid-Atlantic region where she also opened and managed Talbots Baltimore. Molly returned to Massachusetts in the mid-90s becoming active in the Newburyport community with The Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and the Customs House Maritime Museum.

She will lovingly be missed by her five daughters, Charlotte M. Nolan of Newburyport, MA, Mary M. Goodwin and her husband, Peter, of Simsbury, CT, Kathryn M. Sundquist and husband, Peter, of Arlington, MA, Molly M. Ettenborough and husband, Peter, of Newburyport, MA, and Finley M. Weatherford and husband, Brian, of Cockeysville, MD and nine grandchildren.

ARRANGEMENTS: Private services will be held in Newburyport as well as at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis where she will join her husband on the banks of their final harbor.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Molly’s memory to the Custom House Maritime Museum, 25 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950 and The Newburyport Firehouse Center for the Arts, Market Square, Newburyport.