Patricia “Trish” Dent Murphy, beloved and easy-to-love family member, devout Catholic and caring teacher died peacefully on April 21, 2023, at Hamilton Trace Assisted Living facility in Fishers, Indiana.
Born on March 28, 1938, in the small town of Worland, Wyoming, Trish graduated from Washakie County High School in 1956. She attended Stephens College in Columbia, MO, for one year and completed her Bachelor of Arts at Colorado State College in Greely in 1960.
After graduating, Trish moved to Germany and taught children whose parents were in military service. She spent three years working and feeding her adventuresome spirit as she traveled extensively to Ireland, England, France, Italy, Denmark, Egypt and the Holy Land.
She returned to the United States and completed her Master of Education in 1966 at the University of Missouri-Columbia. At that time, she lived with her only sibling, Eleanor, and her brother-in-law Don, while receiving her degree. This was a time of learning and laughter for her as she and her sister enjoyed a close relationship throughout her life.
While in St. Louis, she met her future husband, Michael (Mike) Murphy who was working as a pipefitter and enthusiastically raced cars. The two married in 1967 and honeymooned in Yellowstone National Park. Mike referred to his wife as “Saint Trish” for her penchant for attending daily early-morning mass and her ability to put up with his occasional cantankerous nature and bad dad jokes. They shared 54 years of marriage until Mike’s passing in 2022.
Trish and Mike were thrilled beyond measure to complete their family when they adopted their two sons, Sean and Patrick through Catholic Charities. The foursome and a series of adored dogs lived in Ballwin, a suburb of St. Louis. Trish never missed any of her sons’ extracurricular activities which often took her far from home. She was dubbed “Queen of the Back Roads” as she detested driving on the interstate and would take the most circuitous route possible to avoid this at all costs. In her later years, she would still drive the back roads, often belting out music from the 1980-90s like no one was listening.
While in Ballwin, Trish spent the majority of her teaching career as a reading specialist at St. Clare of Assisi. She also spent countless hours in mass there and selflessly put others above herself. In her free time, Trish was a voracious reader and was happiest reading on her outdoor porch. She had a keen and curious mind excelling at bridge and stayed current reading the paper each morning. St. Louis was her home for much of her life, and she would wake up with coffee and KMOX and was a diehard Cardinals baseball fan, and still had her subscription to MLB baseball until the day she died to follow her favorite team. Trish truly enjoyed life and had a big laugh and love of Chardonnay when out to dinner with friends or family.
In 2018, Trish and Mike moved to Fishers, Indiana to be close to their son Patrick, his wife Shalon and her three grandchildren. For her many roles, being Grammy T was her all-time favorite as she was a fixture at soccer and volleyball games, school performances, holidays and any family gathering. When asked once if she still had more places to visit as she got older, she was definitive: “I don’t have anything more I need to see because everything I love is right here.”
Trish is survived by her two sons: Sean Murphy of New York City; and Patrick Murphy (Shalon) of Fishers, IN; grandchildren Makayla, Spencer and Preston; sister Eleanor Gaye Kuester of Richland, MO; niece Jennifer Barth (Adam) and grandnephew Dylan Wilford of Flower Mound, TX; and nephew Daniel Kuester of Manhattan, KS, and many friends. Trish was predeceased by her beloved husband Mike, her parents Frank and Dorothy Dent, and brother-in-law Donald Kuester.
In remembrance of Trish Murphy’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to St. Clare of Assisi School.