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Evelyn Murphy

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Evelyn Murphy

01/29/1948 - 12/29/2012


Evelyn Boggan Pence Murphy, age 64, passed away on Saturday, December 29, 2012, at the Rainey Hospice House. She was the daughter of the late Clayborne Boggan Pence and Evelyn McBrayer Pence Reeves.

She is survived by her husband of 43 years, William Pickens Murphy, Jr.; two sons, Ernest Pence Murphy and his partner Christopher Alan Smith and Marshall Pickens Murphy and his wife Margaret Stuart Murphy; a sister, Eugenia Pence DeHart and her husband David Vernon DeHart; a nephew, Charles Baxter Lee and his wife Catherine Baker Lee; a niece, Catherine Benson DeHart; and two brothers-in-law, Ernest Palmer Murphy and his partner Randall G. Chumley, and Marshall Jackson Murphy and his wife Elizabeth Tyler Murphy and their children Margaret McCoy Murphy and Blythe Palmer Murphy.

Evelyn was born in Anderson, graduated T.L. Hanna High School in 1966, and married Billy in 1969, her childhood sweetheart since 7th grade. She attended USC where she was the Sigma Chi Sweetheart and received her BA in Education. She later received her Master's Degree in Administration from Clemson. Evelyn was dedicated to Education throughout her career, having served as a teacher and administrator. She was the active principal at Robert Anderson Middle School. Evelyn was an excellent cook, a welcoming hostess, and faithful friend and leader. She was a longtime member of Central Presbyterian.

Evelyn's commitment to her students and school community was remarkable. A few of her accomplishments as a long-time principal at Southwood Middle School and Robert Anderson Middle School are: Recipient of the Order of the Jessamine in 2007, an award given to women with proven leadership in their profession; Pastor's Award in 2001, an award given to Southwood's "Straight Up Program" for making a difference in the lives of children; Patriot Perseverance Award in 2011 given by Robert Anderson for continued leadership during illness or adversity; Center for Creative Leadership Achievement in 2003, recognizing achievement to the School Leadership Executive Institute; Schools to Watch National Designation in 2010; AVID Demonstration School, National Designation in 2010; JAG Award in 2001, an award given in appreciation of Evelyn's continuous leadership from the Southwood Faculty and Staff; Palmetto State Silver and Gold Awards (2003-2011); Awards for Academic Achievement from the State Department of Education; South Carolina Department of Education Red Carpet School Award (2002-2010); Lighthouse Award (2002-present) by Mrs. Bagley for Outstanding Educational Leadership. Evelyn was selected to be a part of a project called South Carolina Successful School Principals' Project, which started in 2001. The purpose of the project was to identify successful leadership practices across the country. Findings have been published in two articles, "An Examination of Leadership in Challenging Circumstances" in the SC Middle School Association Journal in 2011 and in the National Dropout Prevention Center's Journal, "AVIDizing a High Poverty Middle School."

The Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 11:00 AM at Central Presbyterian Church with the Reverend Dr. David J. Bailey officiating. Burial will follow at Old Silver Brook Cemetery.

The family will receive friends at The McDougald Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM.

The family suggests that memorials be made to Hospice of the Upstate, 1835 Rogers Road, Anderson, SC 29621.

A message of condolence may be sent by visiting


Published in The Greenville News from Dec. 31, 2012 to Jan. 2, 2013
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