July 25, 1926 - May 5, 2013
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Former Whittier mayor Delta Murphy died Sunday at Morningside retirement community after a long illness. She was 86.
While attending the University of Southern California, Mrs. Murphy was introduced to the art of debate by an Alpha Chi Omega sorority sister, where several championships were won on the West Coast. Another sorority sister, Patsy Murphy, introduced her to her brother, Breene Murphy, a USC dental student and son of a USC alumnus. The two were married in 1947. They had two sons, Kevin and Bryan, and their alma mater continued to play a prominent role in their lives, with four generations of Trojans in the family to date.
Mrs. Murphy served on the boards of the former Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, now PIH Health, the Whittier YMCA, and the Salvation Army. She was a member of the Whittier Park and Recreation Commission and the California State Park and Recreation Commission. She also served as forewoman for a federal grand jury in Los Angeles that investigated organized crime.
As chairwoman of the planning commission for the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning in the 1980s, Mrs. Murphy helped develop a plan for Santa Catalina Island. This led to an invitation to serve as chairwoman of USC's Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies.
"We have been given so much in our lives, and are so blessed, it is essential that we return some of this in kind, " Mrs. Murphy wrote. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Breene Murphy; two sons, Kevin Murphy and his wife, Ellie, and Bryan Murphy and his wife, Diana; and grandsons Breene, Shelby, Reyn, Cory, Sandy and Jody.
Delta Murphy's memorial will be at 11 AM on Tuesday, May 14th at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on May 10, 2013