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Van Buren Intermediate School District
490 South Paw Paw Street
Lawrence, MI 49064
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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Marjorie “Margie” Murphy would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was well respected by many, and her life of service to others was an inspiration to all who were near. Margie was a devoted wife and mother, and later in life she was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandmother to her precious granddaughter. Life was not without times of trial for her, but she faced whatever came her way with both strength and courage that never wavered. Life will never be the same without Margie here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
It seems only fitting that Margie’s journey began during a time that was as vibrant as she was. It was the 1950s when James Dean and Marilyn Monroe were big names on the silver screen and Elvis took the music world by storm. It was just as the beauty of May was unfolding in Bay City, Michigan, in 1950 that Patrick and Delima (Levasseur) Murphy were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Marjorie Mary on May 15th. She was raised as the third of four children along with a special cousin, Denise. They had a very open and welcoming home, and Margie and her sisters, Patricia, Sharon, and Maureen, all loved spending time on their grandparents’ farm. There are still numerous antiques in the family from her grandparents’ home. Margie was very quiet and reserved as a young girl, and she was the angel of the family. She excelled in her studies and was very intuitive. Margie’s father worked as an operator for Dow while her mother was a homemaker who also did some daycare in their home. This is how Margie really learned how to deal with children as her mother was a wonderful caregiver. She attended parochial schools and graduated in 1968.
Not to be forgotten during her years in high school was Margie’s introduction to the young man who would later become her husband. His name was Mark DuBay, and they met while both were attending Visitation High School in Bay City at the young age of 15. They began dating and became high school sweethearts. They both attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, and then they both went to Michigan State University to earn their masters. With a desire to build a life together, Margie and Mark were married on August 6, 1977, in her parents’ backyard by a priest friend. After the ceremony they had a fun-filled picnic celebration. The newlyweds then went to Traverse City for a few days.
A bit later, Margie and Mark moved to Kalamazoo and started a family in 1981. She worked while also raising their three boys, Nathan, Nicholas, and Matthew. Margie never raised her voice as a parent, and her boys all respected her. They all did extremely well in school. Because she always had fun with simple things, Margie was adored by her nieces and nephews, and they looked forward to visits with her. Margie was a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, assuming a local leadership position while her sons were still young. She was very proud that all three of her boys achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Margie received the Bronze Pelican award from the Kalamazoo Diocese for her involvement in Catholic scouting.
Margie enjoyed a rewarding career. After earning her BA in psychology and elementary education, she later earned an MA from Michigan State University, focusing her studies on early childhood education. Margie taught kindergarten and other elementary grades in parochial schools located in Bay City, Grand Blanc, and Lansing in the early 1970s before running a daycare at the Comstock Community Center near Kalamazoo for several years. For the 38 years that followed, Margie was employed by the Van Buren Intermediate School District in Lawrence, teaching child care at the Vo Tech Center before serving as an administrator for early childhood programs throughout the Intermediate District. She truly enjoyed her work. Margie retired in August of 2015.
About 35 years ago, Margie and her husband moved to their current home in the “country” in Lawrence. They lived on five acres so they would have a few animals and room enough for the three boys to roam around. Margie loved living the simple life there, and she loved living in her farmhouse that was built in the 1850s. The entire farmhouse was furnished in early American and primitive antiques, and it looks like it belongs in Early American Magazine. Theirs is one of the oldest homes of its kind in Lawrence Township, and Margie loved that it was close to her work and the boys’ school. Margie made amazing things in her kitchen, which was something her family truly loved.
Throughout her life Margie was one to keep busy. When the boys were older the family took trips to Ireland, Mexico and the Caribbean. Both Margie and Mark took numerous trips to Quebec. They’re of French Canadian decent, and both appreciate their ancestry. As a lover of the simple life Margie wasn’t one to get caught up in any drama. She loved reading biographies and was well versed in many things. She knew numerous children songs and loved art.
About nine years ago life was drastically changed for Margie and her loved ones when she was first diagnosed with cancer. Margie had a battle to fight, and her resilient spirit was easy to see. She taught her family and friends so much about how to fight with both grace and strength, and she always said she would leave this life standing on her feet, just like her father did. Margie took such joy in her six-month-old granddaughter and cherished every moment spent with her.
When reflecting on the life of Margie Murphy, it is easy to see that no one who met her was left unchanged. She spent the past 40 years touching the lives of everyone she met while living in Southwest Michigan. A farm girl at heart, Margie was content in whatever life brought, and her mission in life was to be there for others in whatever way she could. She will never be forgotten.
Marjorie Mary “Margie” Murphy, of Lawrence, passed away on November 7, 2017. Margie’s family includes her husband, Mark, and her sons, Nathan and his wife Kristin Hampel, Nicholas, and Matthew and his wife Jessica Murphy-DuBay (Sell), together with their infant daughter, Margie’s granddaughter, Briley Anne Murphy-DuBay; three sisters, Patricia (John) Behmlander of Clayton, CA, Sharon (James) Childs of Grayling, and Maureen Murphy of Bay City, a very close cousin, Denise (Lambert) Schwartzly of Freeland; many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews too numerous to mention. Margie was preceded in death by her parents, Patrick and Delima (Levasseur) Murphy of Kawkawlin. Visit with family and friends on Friday from 4-8 p.m. at the Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home (60900 M-40 Highway, Paw Paw). Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Paw Paw with final viewing beginning at 10am. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery. A luncheon will be held in the church hall following the burial. Please visit her personal webpage at www.betzlerfuneralhome.com where you can share a memory or photo and sign her guest book before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or Early Childhood Development at Van Buren Intermediate School District (VBISD).