Shirley Murphy

Shirley Mae (Weis) Murphy was born October 15, 1929 in Dubuque to Alvin H. and Pauline L. (Koester) Weis. At the age of three, the family moved to Decorah, where she graduated from St. Benedict’s Catholic Grade School and Decorah High School. While in high school, she was elected Homecoming queen.

Peach graduated from Clarke College (University) in Dubuque. She spent the next two years teaching English and commercial subjects in Scales Mound, IL and Shellsburg. Peach married Cyril F. Murphy at St. Benedict’s Church in Decorah September 3, 1955 and for the next two years had numerous jobs while her husband pursued his master’s degree in social work, these included the West Block of the National Harbours Board, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Peach was the first woman to serve as an usher at St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Bemidji, MN and St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Lakeland, FL where they wintered for several years after retiring. Peach enjoyed shaking the basket under the chins of people she knew; as her dad taught her.

Back when money meant something, Peach’s boss decided to give her a raise and he asked her advice. “Imagine”, she said, “you are probably thinking fifty cents an hour, I am thinking one dollar, so let’s make it $1.50”. He gave it to her.

Peach is survived by her husband, Cyril; five daughters, Mary Jo (Shawn) Werner, Jean Nielsen, Paula (Dave) Anderson, Jill (Clark) Norgaard and Barbara Castagna; 11 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren (and one on the way!); one brother, James Weis; and two sisters, Mary Elizabeth (Gabe) Alvarado and JoAnn (Tom) Martindale.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Thomas, David, Richard (Tip) and Joseph; two sisters, Sr. Jeanenne Weis, SNJM and Sandra Weis; and one son-in-law, Steven Castagna.

A funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 20 at St. Edward’s Church, 5800 West 94th Street, Bloomington, MN. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the funeral Mass. There will be a burial service at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 21 at Gethsemane Cemetery, 1928 Main Street, in Lansing.