More Obituaries for Mary Petlock-Murphy
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Mary Ellen Petlock-Murphy

Obituary Condolences

Mary Ellen Petlock-Murphy Obituary

Mary Ellen Petlock-Murphy was born in Detroit, Michigan on February 17, 1951. Mary Ellen passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones on September 23, 2014. From a young age, Mary Ellen did not relate to city life, longing to be surrounded with her animals of all shapes and sizes. On a family trip to visit her aunt in Port Dover, Canada, Mary Ellen found her love for country living at age eight. She talked her parents into allowing her to have some Bantam hens and a rooster at a time when chickens in Detroit were a rare event. Her efforts to be a country girl were squashed as neighbors began to complain about the rooster crowing at the break of dawn. Undeterred, a steady stream of cats and dogs found a new home.

At the age of 15, Mary Ellen got her wish when her father retired from the Detroit Police Department and moved the family to Brownsville, CA --sight unseen. The rest of her life, Mary Ellen lived the country life in various rural locations from Missoula Montana, to Big Piney Wyoming, Paulina Oregon and Chelan Washington, before returning home to her beloved family mountain home in Brownsville.

In 1969, Mary Ellen married Al Murphy. They were married 24 years raising two great boys, Taber and Corbin. Mary Ellen was the best mom! She taught her boys the meaning of hard work, how to be compassionate to people and animals, doing the right thing and how to live an honorable life. Some of the best memories were Mary Ellen as a 4H leader, Sunday bird hunts, her always evolving culinary skills, her seamstress abilities, and her talent at restoring secondhand and used items. She also taught her boys how to live off the land by raising and growing her own food.

When Mary Ellen moved to Chelan, WA, she worked as a Vet Tech part-time at a pet clinic. She then opened up her own boarding and grooming kennel. Then, in 1998, she decided to move back to Brownsville where she continued animal grooming and working at Ray's Hardware. Later, Mary Ellen joined the Marysville Joint Unified School District as a bus driver. She really enjoyed driving a school bus and worked hard at developing positive relationship with the different families on her route. While driving a school bus, Mary Ellen continued to groom animals, sell chicken eggs and rescue and care for neglected animals. Mary Ellen found peace and happiness with her animals. She was more than an animal lover; she loved and was dearly loved by all who knew her.

In 2000, Mary Ellen decided to build a space to continue her dog grooming. John Murphy recommended a local builder named Willie Marihugh and the rest is history! Willie was the love of her life and they enjoyed almost 15 wonderful years together. They loved going to car shows, antique shopping, spending time at the ocean and doing projects together.

As her boys grew up and started their own families, Mary Ellen loved her role as grandma. Mary Ellen sent frequent care packages to her grandkids making them feel special and remembered. She even would catch snakes, frogs and lizards and save them for the grandkids! Her family and those closest to her will sorely miss her captivating smile and generous soul!

Mary Ellen is preceded in death by her parents, Julius "Jerry" and Mabel Petlock, and her brother, Don Medley, Sr.

Mary Ellen is survived by her love, Willie Marihugh; her two sons, Taber and Corbin Murphy; her sister, Pam; brother, Tony; five grandchildren, many cousins, nephews, nieces, extended family and friends; and all her animals.

There will a community celebration honoring Mary Ellen's life at the Brownsville Community Center located at 17103 Ponderosa Way, Brownsville, CA on Saturday, December 13, 2014, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. This will be a potluck style luncheon, everyone is welcome. Before Mary Ellen passed, it was very important to her that she found homes for all her animals. She has loved and cared for animals her entire life. With this in mind, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, please support your local humane society or Yuba-Sutter SPCA.

Send Condolences at

Published in Appeal Democrat from Dec. 7 to Dec. 10, 2014
Read More
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.