“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” — A.A. Milne
On Sunday February 2, 2020, Helen Frances Murphy, loving mother and grandmother, passed away at the age of 74. She lived on the upper Sabinal Canyon off the clear waters of Wedgeworth Creek. As a resident of Vanderpool, Texas, she was a much beloved member of the community.
Helen was born on September 27, 1945, in Ballinger, Texas, to Pat and Virginia (Fowler) Murphy. Horace Murphy was her older brother. She grew up a country girl in Runnels County in a house her father built along the verdant banks of Bluff Creek. She graduated from Ballinger High School and later put herself through college while raising her four sons. She earned a BA in nursing from San Angelo State University and worked as a Registered Nurse at Shannon Medical Center for many years. In 2008, she moved to Vanderpool, Texas, to care for her uncle, Warren Murphy, and raise her granddaughter. She continued her nursing career, working for Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrville and then Bandera Tri County Home Health.
Helen had a passion for the arts. As a young woman, she loved to paint landscapes and draw wildlife like her grandmother. She also loved ceramics and playing the piano. Her talent inspired us all.
Helen had the ability to transform everywhere she lived into blooming gardens of abundance and beauty. Sophia, one of her eight grandchildren, described her as beautiful, like a flower or a stream. If Nana (as her grandchildren and children called her) were a flower, then she would surely be her favorite — the iris.
She fed birds by the thousands. As anyone who sat on her porch would know, it was often hard to hear the creek over the sound of dozens and dozens of hummingbirds buzzing through the air.
She loved watermelons in summer and apricots fresh off the tree. She was famed for her homemade blackberry cobbler along with other baked delights. She was an avid quilter, sewing stacks of quilts known for their beauty and warmth.
She loved to laugh and tell stories. She had a quick wit, an infectious smile, and a compassionate spirit. She was a woman of faith. Above all, Helen’s life was deeply rooted in love, and she spread that love to all she touched. Hers was a kind and generous soul who always put her family first. She will be much missed and long remembered.
Her father, Horace, her mother, Virginia, her uncle, Warren, and her brother, Horace, preceded Helen in death.
She is survived by her loving sons: Chip, Cary, Matthew and Jonathan; and her beloved grandchildren: Genny, Virginia Blu, Clay Thomas, Abigael, Christian, Colton, Sophia and Leo.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on March 7th at the Utopia Baptist Church, 241 Johnson Street in Utopia, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Helen’s name to the Utopia Baptist Church or the Utopia Memorial Library Garden.