Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cornelia Valentine Murphy, A life too brief

Cornelia Valentine Murphy

A life too brief

June 29, 1965 - May 13, 2006

Today, I got word that someone I knew had passed away at age 40, Cornelia Murphy. I briefly knew Cornelia (Corn or Corny to her friends) from 1994 to 1998 when we both lived in Washington D.C. Living and working in DC is transitional, and so I never knew Cornelia that well, (she was the friend of a friend), but I always thought she was a warm and funny person. She was also very loyal to her friends.

The last time I saw her was on the 32 bus headed south on Wisconsin Ave NE. I got on across from the National Cathedral with my daughter. We were headed to the Jelleff Branch of the Boys and Girls Club. The ride wasn't that long, but I remember her laughing with me about sometimes having to rush just to get to work on time using the bus. She also took an interest in my daughter, asking her about what she was doing and how she liked Washington.

That was eight years ago, and while I never thought I would see her again on a regular basis, hearing today that she died was like a thunderclap. Cornelia's illness took her quickly, she succumbed to an aggressive and rare form of ovarian cancer. I don't think we ever parted on bad terms. I wish I would have heard that she was sick before she passed because I would have wanted to say thanks to her for making my daughter feel special that day on the bus.

I took some time today to read her section at, and it was heartbreaking. Cornelia dedicated herself to AFSCME, and she will be missed by those who knew her. Somewhere, in a box of stuff, I have a picture of her from that time that I will post if I get the opportunity.

Doing a simple Google search brings up a lot about her passing.

My condolences to her friends and family.


P.S. Donations are being taken by Take A Swing At Cancer, a non-profit organization that passes 100 percent of all donations to the family. Murphy and her family had previously announced that should there be any leftover funds, they will be donated to the Scleroderma
; Murphy’s mother suffered from scleroderma.

Cornelia Murphy Fund
Take A Swing At Cancer

P.O. Box 5245
Framingham, MA 01701



At Monday, June 26, 2006 7:40:00 AM, Blogger Paul J. Murphy said...

Thank you for the nice note about Cornelia, my sister. In an effort to keep Cornelia's name and spirit alive, we intend to start a scholarship in Cornelia's name, although we are waiting for the medical bills and other expenses to settle. Also, we will be having a memorial service in Rhode Island on Friday July 7th at 11 am at St. Mark's church in Jamestown. This will be the third and final memorial service for Corn, but we will never forget her. Thank you to all the people who have shared such positive memories of her life and who have supported our family through this difficult time.

Paul J. Murphy (


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