MURPHY, Sister Constance, SSJD, BS Ed., MA - Hon. Doctor of Divinity, Hon. Doctor of Sacred Letters, Canon of St. James' Cathedral, of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine (Anglican). Died peacefully at home on August 2, 2013 at age 109 years and in her 77th year of Religious Profession. She was born February 2, 1904 in Baltimore, MD to George and Grace (neé Hughes) Murphy. She was the sister of Howard, Rebecca, George, James, Houston and William, all deceased. She is survived by nieces and nephews and numerous cousins. Sister Constance obtained her BS Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1928 and taught in Baltimore. She entered the Sisterhood in 1933 and made her Profession as a Sister of St. John the Divine on December 21, 1936. In 1977 she obtained a Masters degree in Adult Education with a certificate in Gerontology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She will be remembered by many whose lives she touched as a teacher and later as headmistress of the Qu'Appelle Diocesan School, in working with the elderly and in pastoral care. Throughout her life she received numerous awards in recognition of her work including the Ontario Senior Citizen's Achievement Award in 1985, the Certificate for Volunteer Services in 1986, selected as Honourary Member of the Ontario Gerontology Association, the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 1992, and in 1999 the Toronto Senior of the Year Award. In 1982 she received an Hon. Doctor of Divinity from the University of Emmanuel College (Saskatoon) and in 1984 an Hon. Doctorate in Sacred Letters from Trinity College (Toronto). In 2004 she was made a Canon of St. James' Cathedral. She was part of the Baltimore Longitudinal Studies at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland. She produced several books: a Book of Prayers in Large Print; Sing Your Way Home; and in 1997 an autobiography, Other Little Ships (no longer in print). In 2009 the American Ambassador, David Jacobson, presented her with a letter of congratulations from US President Obama. Requiem Eucharist to be held at St. James' Cathedral, 106 King St. E. (at Church), Toronto, ON at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 10, 2013. A reception will follow. If desired, charitable donations in memory of Sr. Constance to continue her work, especially with women and the elderly, may be made to the Sisters of St. John the Divine, 233 Cummer Ave., Toronto, ON M2M 2E8. Funeral arrangements by R.S. Kane Funeral Home, 416-221-1159.
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Published in the Toronto Star on Aug. 7, 2013