Welcome to the memorial page for

Rose Marie (Stapleton) Murphy

February 16, 1937 ~ November 20, 2017 (age 80)

Obituary Image

Rose was born in 1937 in a small rural Kansas town where her parents operated a local five and dime store, and where Rose grew up sorting bulk candies and sweeping away the Kansas dust. She died on November 20 in Sonoma, California, where she lived in the same home for 42 years.

She is survived by Larry, her husband of 53 years, her son, Tony Murphy, and daughters Katy Vanoni and Monica Alatorre, her sister, Carol, her brother, Jerry, and seven grandchildren. Rose graduated from the acclaimed University of Missouri Journalism School in 1959 and for the rest of her life was involved with writing, teaching and literature, especially Irish literature. She taught at Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College.

Rose’s writing has appeared in the Sonoma Index-Tribune, the Marin Independent Journal, and she has donated her writing skills and dramatic production skills to countless charitable organizations.

Rose was lovingly devoted to her family, and to her role as mother to her three children and wife to Larry. Her love and strength and example have guided her family right up to her final days when she faced her cruel illness with courage and acceptance.

In 1993 Rose and Larry founded Murphy’s Irish Pub in Sonoma. Here she shared her love of Irish literature by producing Irish plays and readings designed to delight pub patrons with the joys of Irish writing and to celebrate the Irish tradition of neighbors gathering their families at the local watering hole for conversation and music. In 1994 she published a biography of Irish mystic and poet Ella Young. St. Patrick’s Day at the pub won’t be the same without Rose’s drama productions, Halloween won’t be the same without Rose in her traditional James Joyce costume.

In March 2015, members of the Sonoma theatrical community performed dramatic readings from Rose's brilliant but unpublished novel Dervla: The Secret Irish Bard. Participants then memorialized the event by christening the back room of the pub "The Rose Murphy Performing Arts Center."

A talented writer and editor, she would have red-lined this obituary to half its current length with twice the content.

A memorial service will be held at Hanna Boys Center, 17000 Arnold Dr., Sonoma, at 11:00 AM Thursday, November 30th. Friends are invited to join the family on Wednesday evening November 29th at 7:30 at Murphy’s Irish Pub, 464 First St. East in Sonoma, where we will share stories and remember Rose in the Rose Murphy Performing Arts Center. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Vintage House Senior Center in Sonoma.

Charitable donations may be made to:

Vintage House of Sonoma
264 First Street East, Sonoma CA 95476
Tel: 1-707-996-0311

 Service Information

Memorial Service
November 30, 2017

11:00 AM
Hanna Boys Center
17000 Arnold Dr
Sonoma, CA 95476

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