Mary Katurah "Kay" (Murphy) Smith

5 entries
  • "When I first asked Mary Kay what I should call her, she..."
    - Jessica Jollie
  • "Mary was truly a light among the many. I worked with her..."
    - Florence Roberts
  • ""A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it..."
    - Sharon and John Jollie
  • "I will always hear her laughter and remember her friendship."
    - Diana Place
  • "She lived an abundant and full life, and we loved her well."
    - Mary Avella Hay Smith
The Guest Book is expired.

Mary Katurah "Kay" Murphy Smith passed peacefully on March 18, 2014, in Santa Maria, California. Her legacy is the joy of living a full life and the fierce love she felt for family and friends. Artist, writer, dog lover, family historian, gardener, quilter, traveler. Mary Kay was tenaciously independent with an indomitable spirit for life. She was a three time breast cancer survivor whose determination to live fully, and to raise and love her children, has been an inspiration to those who knew her. She helped other women overcome their own battle with cancer through the "Reach to Recovery" program in Utah and was proud of the positive impact it had for women like her. Mary Kay was proud of her West Virginia heritage and the importance of her deep family roots there. Born October 5, 1926 in Clarksburg, West Virginia to Cecil and Evelyn (Pyles) Murphy, Mary was the eldest of three children. She credited her outlook on life to the strong women and men who shaped her as a child and adult. She was a graduate of the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps and attended school at Ohio Valley General Hospital in Wheeling, WV. She loved to learn. 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 married James Harold Smith on November 22, 1949. They were divorced in 1972. James passed in 1976. Mary Kay chose to love others: classmates at Bridgeport HS and Ohio Valley General Hospital; sisters among Chapter X PEO sisterhood, SLC, of which she was a founding member; friends in Wyoming, Utah and Arizona; fellow nurses at Cottonwood Hospital, Murray, Utah and fellow parishioners at Saguaro Christian Church, Tucson. Mary Kay is survived by her children, Karen and husband, Robert Jollie of Tucson, 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 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, in the late spring. A guest book has been established at

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Mar. 23, 2014
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