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Cordelia Murphy Ennis


1922 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Cordelia Murphy Ennis Obituary
April 23, 1922 - January 1, 2017 Cordelia Alice Murphy Ennis, Pasadena, California died Sunday, January 1, 2017 after a relatively short illness. She was born April 23, 1922, in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of Dr. Franklin E. Murphy, originally of Reddington, Indiana and Cordelia Brown Murphy, originally of Kansas City, Missouri. She had two brothers who predeceased her, Dr. Franklin D. Murphy and Dr. George E. Murphy. Cordelia, known informally as "Cordie," graduated from Kansas City's Southwest High School and attended Bradford College in Massachusetts for her first two years of college. In 1941 she entered the University of Kansas and pledged to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1943. After graduation, she worked for Hallmark Card Company and Skelly Oil Company in Kansas City in their personnel departments. During World War II, she met F. Lyman Ennis, a distinguished Army Air Force pilot, when he was on leave from the War. The meeting occurred because Lyman's mother asked him to pay a visit to Cordie's mother who was her former piano teacher. Cordie answered the door when Lyman arrived for the visit. After Lyman completed his military service, Lyman and Cordie were married in Kansas City, Missouri on December 1, 1945. Lyman and Cordie moved to Los Angeles immediately after their marriage. Lyman first worked as a set designer for motion picture studios and as a product designer before obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture from U.S.C. in 1953. When Lyman began his architectural practice, he and Cordie began to design, build and sell one-of-a-kind mid-century homes in the Los Angeles area. Eventually they decided to settle down into a hilltop home they designed and built in 1957 in the Annandale Hills of Pasadena where they lived the rest of their lives, with Cordie living in that home for almost 60 years. They had two children, Rebecca Ennis Davies and Kevin Gibson Ennis. When her children were in school, she enrolled in a two-year Masters Program at California State University, Los Angeles and obtained a Certificate as a Human Relations Specialist in 1968. She then worked for several years as a college counselor at Cal State L.A. before becoming the Director of the Foothill Branch of the Y.W.C.A. where she developed and ran a job development work experience program for disadvantaged women in six cities in the San Gabriel Valley. Prior to and after her retirement in 1988, she was involved in civic and neighborhood organizations, including being a volunteer in the early days of the Pasadena Art Museum, a docent at the Gamble House, and a long-time Board Member of the Linda Vista-Annandale Association, serving as its first woman President in 1985-1986. Through her volunteer work she, along with her husband and many others, helped protect the community from intensive hillside development, led a street tree funding and planting effort, and worked to have the City impose and maintain appropriate restrictions on the use of the Rose Bowl for the protection of surrounding neighborhoods. She and Lyman also hosted annual neighborhood parties to welcome new neighbors. She was known for being interested in and informed about local and national politics, a voracious newspaper reader, curious about the world and medical science (family traits), interested in people's thoughts and motivations, a good and adventurous cook, having inner strength and strong opinions, and for her frugality, among other traits. She is survived by her daughter Rebecca Ennis Davies and her husband Les, her son, Kevin Gibson Ennis and his partner Michael Kennedy, grandson Patrick Davies, granddaughter Kathryn Davies Kelly and her husband Sean, two great grandchildren, Brian and Sarah Davies, sister in law, Joanne Ennis Bourquin and her husband Edgar John, sister in law Mary Ellen Ennis, nieces Margaret Johnson Easton, Margaret Ann Ennis Hauber, Hilary Bourquin Jones, and Carolyn Murphy Speer, nephew William Claiborne Ennis, several grandnieces and grandnephews, and many cousins and extended family members. Services will be held at All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101 on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made in Cordelia's name to All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, the YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley, 50 N. Hill Ave., Suite 301, Pasadena, CA 91106 or to the Linda Vista-Annandale Association with funds designated to the Cordie Ennis Memorial Tree Fund, at P.O. Box 94364, Pasadena, CA 91109.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Jan. 17 to Jan. 22, 2017
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