Faye Lathem Murphy, 82, lived a life filled with joy, love, boldness, service, faith, and activity. Born November 28, 1940, the beloved wife, mom, Nana and friend to many passed away unexpectedly February 17, 2023.
Faye was born in Walnut Grove, Miss., and earned her bachelor’s degree in education at Mississippi State College for Women. She taught school in her home state prior to moving to Sweeny, Texas, in 1970. She was married to her sweetheart, Chief Jerry V. Murphy, for 61 years. She was the “old man’s” world, and he was hers.
Faye taught home economics at Sweeny High School and middle school for years. She also managed Murphy’s Fina, sewed beautifully, mentored many students, and constantly looked for ways to provide for people’s comfort and wellbeing. She often made a grand arrival, bearing gifts for everyone — for no occasion at all. She never met a stranger because she immediately made friends with them. She made every costume or cookie her daughter and two sons ever needed, and she made sure her star baseball boys always had the whitest baseball pants and loudest fan in the stands. Faye cheered at hundreds of Little League games, attended band and choir concerts, and was a Sweeny Bulldog football fan. She also loved the Houston Astros, especially Jose Altuve.
Faye’s father was a preacher, and she passed on the family faith instilled in her from childhood. It was at his country church that she taught herself to play piano. She loved playing traditional hymns and faithfully reading her daily devotional books.
In recent years, Faye was an ambassador at The Avenues of Fort Bend where she lived, calling bingo and helping out many of the older residents. She loved jigsaw puzzles and hitting triple 7s — and she was a very lucky person! Nana Murphy loved all her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids very much, and she showed it.
Everywhere she went, she made an impression. People who knew “Mrs. Murphy” loved her, and the stories about all the people she helped are innumerable. She was quirky and sweet and her own person. Faye loved Elvis Presley, reading and gardening with Jerry.
Michelle wrote in a tribute to her mom, “She’s probably bossing St. Peter right now and offering to make him a new robe. She already met all the people hanging out in the heavenly lounge and is asking if they might have triple 7s in that golden place. I hope they do. Mom would get a kick out of that.”
She is survived by her beloved husband Jerry; her twin brother Ray Lathem and her sister Imogene Brown; her children Michelle and Ric Morris, Chris Murphy, and Shelly and Stephen Murphy; her grandkids Sara and Jon McPherson, Corinne and Payton Giacomarro, Brittani Murphy and Jeff Bruegel, and Taylor Murphy and Kaeden Frankum; and great-grandchildren Asher McPherson, Caysen Bruegel, and Stella and Olivia Giacomarro.
Best nearby florist: Wells Florist, 979-548-2247, www.wellsflorist.com. Or, in the spirit of Faye’s generosity, individuals are welcome to make a memorial gift to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in lieu of flowers. Thank you, sweet friends and family, for your kindness and care.