Sarah Rose Murphy, age 93 of Philadelphia PA passed away on Friday, October 30, 2020.
She was preceded in death by her parents Anna Mary and William Fishburn and siblings Anna (Francis) Curran and William Fishburn.
She was the wife of the late John J. Murphy and the awesome mother of Jack (Carole) Murphy, Sally (Mike) Woods, Michael Murphy and the late Maureen Wilkes. She is survived by 9 grandchildren: Carole Anne (Larry) Dalesandro, Jack (Denise) Murphy, Dennis (Karen) Murphy, Sara (Jim) Nelson, Michael (Emily) Woods, Michael (Maggie) Murphy, Allison Wilkes, Andrew Wilkes, and Shannon (Joe) McGovern. Also survived by 13 great grandchildren: Matthew, Ryan and Christopher Dalesandro and the late Jenna Nicole Dalesandro Erin and Bridget Murphy Tommy, Patrick and Brendan Murphy Kayla and Conor Woods and newest addition Shelby Reen Nelson and step great grandson Ryan Dougherty. Also survived by her Sister-in-Law Cass Fishburn, nephew Bill (Donna) Fishburn and their family.
Born Sarah Rose Fishburn on Friday, September 30, 1927. She was born at home although the time of her birth is unclear. Her Mother told her that all she remembers is that she had started to cook dinner and never finished. She was the middle child with an older sister named Peggy and a younger brother named Billy.
Even though she was named Sarah Rose, her family always called her Sally. Her mother was from Northern Ireland and her Dad was born here. They instilled in her early on the meaning of family and she was a product of her Irish roots. She used to tell us that when her family from Ireland would come to visit, they would Irish dance on the second floor and the whole house would shake
She was a "daddy's little girl", always wanting to help him plant his garden and work around the house.. Never afraid to get her hands dirty and always followed him around. Her early schooling was at Visitation BVM Catholic school in Kensington where early friendships were made.
But some of the boys in her class would tease her about her name. They would say "Here comes Sarah Rose- Sarah Rose sat on a tack- Sarah Rose!”
Her high school years were spent at Little Flower High School for Girls. She was part of the first full graduating class of 1945. She was a good student, many times completing her homework on the trolley on the way to school because she was out the night before. After high school, she entered the working world with a job at Philco where she was a clerical typist - a job that she loved. Later in her life, she also worked retail at Gimbels and at Sears in the billing department.
In 1946, she and her friends would spend time at the Wildwood beach but they truly loved going to the dances especially at St. John's. They'd be there till closing and most nights walked home barefooted, carrying their shoes. But sore feet never stopped them from going dancing again the next night! This is where one night she met the love of her life- Jack Murphy, an incredibly handsome dark haired, dark eyed man with Irish roots. He was recently discharged from the army and like they say, the rest is history!
They were married on June 19,1948 and built an incredible life together for 53 years until his passing in 2001.
They were a great match and eventually had 4 children Jack, Sallyanne, Michael and Maureen. Together they taught them to show respect and compassion and told them about their Irish roots.
Sally was an easy-going person, always available and ready to listen. Even though she would never be considered tall- she stood about 5 feet 1/2 inch; she was bigger than life. Always kind and compassionate and seldom got her "Irish" up. But watch out when she did!
She loved to knit,crochet,sew and do puzzles (the more pieces the better). She'd fix your hem with a moment's notice or make a dress in record time. She was always accommodating and no request was ever turned down. There was always a box filled with beautiful baby blankets that she knitted, just waiting for the next newborn baby. She also knitted larger blankets to give to her college bound grandchildren to keep them safe and warm. The holidays at our parents' house were always filled with the incredible aroma of her famous apple pies. Not only did she hand peel tons of apples for all those many holiday pies, but each family got one to take home for later- so good!!!
As the family grew with the addition of grandchildren and great grandchildren. so did her love. She was always ready to lend a helping hand-- one time with needle and thread she came to the rescue to fix a broken zipper on a groomsman's pants at a wedding. She was also quite a problem solver and was always up for a challenge every now and then. Like the time she took on wall papering in a very small hallway that could have been an episode for Lucy and Ethel on "I love Lucy".
She grew up during the Big Band Era of Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller (just great music where you could understand what they were saying according to her). But we all know that her favorite one of all was Frank Sinatra. She'd hear one of his songs, knew all the words and could tell you the year it was from. In these past couple of years when we'd go to visit her on a Sunday morning and it happened to be between 11am-1pm, you best be prepared. That time was reserved for Frank's music on the radio. She would listen faithfully and didn't take kindly to anyone interrupting Frank. I think she was unofficially the head of his fan club. Rumor has it that she once sent Frank a card on his birthday and she never got a thank-you. She gave him a pass and said he was probably just busy!!
She had the greatest smile that would light up a room and the brightest blue eyes. She was always there for her family and we will always have those lifetime memories and can always take comfort from her knitted blankets and feel her warmth just like her apple pies.
We are all so lucky to have called her Mom and Nana and she will always be a part of us.
Funeral will take place privately
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Sarah Rose Murphy, to St. Charles Borromeo School
1704 Bristol Pike Bensalem, Pa. 19020.