Vera Thompson Murphy

Vera Thompson Murphy, wife of James E. Murphy, Jr, died Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010 at Morningstar Place in Hemet, Calif., surrounded by her family, devoted caregivers and friends.

She was born March 28, 1916 to Thomas (Tommy) G. and Ella (Drum) Thompson in Lyman, Wash. She grew up in the Mt. Baker National Forest in a house at the back of the ranger station where her father was the Forest Ranger. She attended Marblemount Elementary School and graduated from Sedro Woolley High School. She went to Washington State College (now University) and graduated with a teaching degree. She taught her first year at Washtucna Public School, but returned to Sedro Woolley to teach at her former high school for two years.

She and James were married in a church near Everett, Wash., on June 27, 1941. For the ensuing 69 years of married life, James and Vera became successful wheat (Washtucna) and cattle (Tonasket) ranchers. Vera especially liked the spring roundup and cattle drive to the mountain pasture every June. She was known for fixing great meals over a campfire. She was an avid horsewoman, camper, gardener, an amazing seamstress and she loved to travel. She was a member of the Washtucna Progressive Club and faithfully attended the Washtucna Community Church, she was also a P.E.O., a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington (formerly Mid-Columbia G.S. Council) for 76 years approximately 54 of those as a leader. She was awarded the Girl Scout Appreciation Pin in 1981, which is given only once and a very great honor. The last six years James and Vera have been snowbirds living with their daughter and son-in-law in southern California during the winter until health made it necessary to stay full time.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by her husband, James of Hemet, Calif.; son, Mickey (Linda) of Washtucna; daughter, Jerilee (John) Crossman of Hemet, Calif.; granddaughters: Nan Murphy of Colfax, Wash., Shelley O’Brien of Albertville, Minn., Kate (Darrell) Getz of Colfax, Sarah (Mike) Beckham of Menifee, Calif., and Erin Crossman of Los Angeles, Calif.; a step granddaughter, Becky (Dale) Cantrell of Wenatchee; and great grandchildren: Brandon and Dylan Heiser, Sean O’Brien, Jenna and Dani Getz, and Logan and Jacob Cantrell.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at the Washtucna Community Church with Pastor Dennis Evans officiating. Interment of her ashes will be at the Ritzville, Wash. Memorial Cemetery at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Washtucna Community Church, P.O. Box 676, Washtucna, WA 99371 or to the Washtucna-Benge Lions Club Scholarship Fund.

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