Kathleen Louise (McGee) Murphy

Photos by Debbie Rose
Photos by Debbie Rose

(May 10, 1951 - February 8, 2004)

The Lusk Herald
February 18, 2004

Kathleen Louise (McGee) Murphy

Kathy was born May 10, 1951 in Kansas City, Mo. Kathy grew up in Laramie and spent her summers on her grandparent's ranch near Lusk. Her ranch experience led to 4-H and she spent nine years in 4-H. Kathy won reserve and Champion awards and blue ribbons in cooking, food preservation, knitting, sewing and modeling. In 1969 she won a National 4-H Club Congress trip to Chicago, funded by Kerr Glass.

Kathy attended St. Laurence O'Toole Catholic School in Laramie for nine years and graduated second in her class from University Prep in 1969. Kathy was active in music, and played flute in band and orchestra. She led the marching band as head majorette and was very active in debate, oratory and extemporaneous competitions.

After earning a four year scholarship from the University of Wyoming Alumni Association, Kathy earned a bachelor's degree in Music and English, and a teaching certificate from the University of Wyoming in 1974. She played flute in the University of Wyoming Band. Kathy was also a very accomplished piano player, and played organ for St. Laurence O'Toole in Laramie while in high school and college.

While attending the University of Wyoming Kathy continued to participate in debate and was very active in the Newman Club, a Catholic student organization. As part of her Newman activities, Kathy wrote and presented a weekly radio address on KOWB. She worked in the University of Wyoming bookstore from 1970-1974.

Kathy completed her student teaching in Cheyenne in 1974. In 1975 Kathy began working for the State of Wyoming at the Wyoming Recreation Commission. After 16 years with the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, Kathy became Executive Assistant to the Director of the Department of Commerce. Kathy served a critical role by assisting five different Agency heads during times of great change.

During her tenure, the agency moved out of the Barrett Building for rehabilitation of the state museum and offices. Mrs. Murphy acted as a go-between for staff in the building, the contractors and project managers. She was an excellent mediator and helped resolve numerous issues.

The agency moved back into the building and then was reorganized as the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, which benefited from Mrs. Murphy's effort in coordinating the incorporation of State Parks into the newly remodeled Barrett Building and Agency.

Kathy volunteered for the Wyoming State Museum Volunteers, frequently hosting tours of the Governors Mansion. She volunteered for Cheyenne Frontier Days for more than 20 years, using vacation leave to serve in the Welcome Wagon and assist the ticket committee. She also video taped Chuck Wagon races and ran Night Show follow spots for the Contract Acts committee.

Kathy was a very active supporter of the Wyoming Arts Council as well as numerous other organizations. A member of International Women's Bowling Congress, Kathy served in leadership positions for area bowling organizations for many years. A frequent bowler with her husband Gary, Kathy is believed to have bowled a 600 series on more than one occasion.

Preceded in death by her father Robert L. McGee in 1976 and her husband Gary Murphy in 2003, Mrs. Murphy is survived by her mother Mildred McGee of Cheyenne, Wyo., and her brother Michael McGee of Aurora, Colo. Vigil for the deceased will be Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Schrader Chapel. Funeral Services will be held Friday at 10:00 a.m. at Schrader Chapel. Interment will be in Lusk.

Friends who prefer may contribute to Kathleen Murphy Memorial Fund, Mildred McGee, 3424 Arrowhead Rd., Cheyenne, WY 82001.

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