1937 - 2020
{ "" }
Share BARBARA's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
MURPHY, Barbara J. Of Weymouth, died September 12 at South Shore Hospital with her children by her side. She was 83. As her health declined in recent days, she remained calm and tried to console her family, saying, "I have had a good life."

She was known and beloved for her kind, sweet nature. She never had a bad word to say about anyone and was devoted to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Born on March 29, 1937, she was the oldest of two children of George and Gladys Anderson. Her father was the son of Swedish immigrants and her mother was a descendent of some of Boston's earliest settlers.

She was raised in Savin Hill in Dorchester, graduated from Roslindale High School and attended Boston Business School. At 18, she married William D. Murphy, Sr., an Army veteran who served with the 187th Airborne during the Korean War. The couple had three children and lived most of their lives in Savin Hill. Barbara worked as a legal secretary at several prestigious Boston law firms, including Burns & Levenson. In 1994, she and her husband moved to Weymouth. He died in 2007.

Barbara, also known as Nana, loved to travel and enjoyed family cruises, vacations on the Cape and in New Hampshire, and trips to Disney World - even when it meant standing in line for hours with a little one to see "It's a Small World."

She was an avid reader, a Red Sox fan, a master of crossword puzzles and quick with the answers when watching Jeopardy, one of her favorite TV shows. Her memory began to fade over the past year, and she might forget what she had for lunch, but she remembered all of the people who were blessed to know her. And she never stopped bragging about her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved to reminisce about her life, saying, "We had a lot of fun."

She is survived by her sons, William D. Murphy, Jr. and his wife Kimberly, Timothy M. Murphy and his wife Roxanne, and her daughter, Shelley Murphy Downes and her husband Regis, all of Weymouth. She leaves her grandchildren, Sean and his wife Genevieve, and Jamie, Caitlin, Liam, Michelle, Meghan, Ryan and Jessica, and great-grandchildren, Aidan and Ophelia. She also leaves a sister-in-law, Irene Anderson, wife of the late George L. Anderson, Jr. of Dennisport.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the Visiting Hours on Wednesday, 4-8 PM, in the McDonald Keohane Funeral Home, EAST WEYMOUTH, at 3 Charles Street (corner of Charles & Middle Street). Funeral Services and Burial will be private. For complete obituary, guestbook, and directions, please visit

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Boston Globe from Sep. 14 to Sep. 15, 2020.
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
1 entry
September 15, 2020
Farewell Too Soon Bouquet
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
a loved one
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences