Mary Katurah "Kay" Murphy Smith|
1926 ~ 2014
Mary Katurah "Kay" Murphy Smith, whose laughter and wit were the very expression of joy, passed peacefully on March 18, 2014 in Santa Maria, California.
Maya Angelou once said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Mary Kay could make you feel the sublime happiness of knowing you are loved and loved forever. Her legacy is the joy in living a full life and the fierce love she felt for family and friends.
Artist, writer, dog lover, conspiratorial story teller, family historian, gardener, quilter, traveler, dancer- Mary Kay was tenaciously independent with an indomitable spirit for life. She was a three time breast cancer survivor, whose determination to live, raise and love her children, and fill her life with curiosity to live completely has been an inspiration to all those around her. She helped others overcome their own battle with cancer through the "Reach to Recovery" program for women who suffered breast cancer. She was proud of this legacy and the positive impact it had for women like her.
Mary Kay was proud of her West Virginia mountain heritage and the importance of her deep family roots there. She credited her outlook on life to the strong women and men who shaped her as a child and as an adult. She remained close to her cousins across distance and time.
Born October 5, 1926 in Clarksburg, West Virginia to Cecil and Evelyn (Pyles) Murphy, Mary was the eldest of three children. She loved her family dearly and was forever proud of brothers John and Bob.
She was a graduate of the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps and attended school at Ohio Valley General Hospital in Wheeling, WV. Her group of friends at OVGH has remained close ever since.
She loved to learn and pursued learning. Whether studying to enhance her nursing skills or taking many Bible study classes to dig deeper into her faith, Mary Kay read constantly and shared her passion to understand the world around her.
She rose to become Assistant Director of Nursing at Cottonwood Hospital in Murray, Utah. She was devoted to comforting patients and their families. She helped establish one of the first coronary care and intensive care units in Utah at Cottonwood Hospital; and helped the early cardiac rehabilitation programs get started. Throughout these efforts and her own battles she maintained a wry sense of humor that was never far away.
She married James Harold Smith on November 22, 1949.They were divorced in 1972. James passed in 1976.
Mary Kay chose to love others: her classmates at Bridgeport HS and Ohio Valley General Hospital; her sisters among Chapter X PEO sisterhood, SLC, of which she was a founding member; friends and neighbors in Wyoming, Utah and Arizona; her close friends and fellow nurses; fellow parishioners at Trinity Methodist and Saguaro Christian Church. All were important to her and enriched by her friendship.
Mary Kay is survived by her children, Karen and husband Robert Jollie, Jadon and wife Suzie Smith, and David and wife Mary Smith, and her brother John and wife Marianne Murphy. She was so proud of her extended family of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. Each one is unique and outstanding in her eyes.
Her ashes will be interred in New Martinsville, WV, alongside her mother and brother, in the late spring.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that her life be celebrated by supporting the
or Alzheimers Foundation.
A guest book has been established at Legacy.com. If you prefer to mail condolences they can be sent to 4017 Clearwater Oaks Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32223.3
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on Mar. 23, 2014