Phyllis Chaney Murphy
November 14, 1924 – December 12, 2020
Phyllis Chaney Murphy passed away on Saturday, December 12, 2020, at the MonteCedro Retirement Community in Altadena, California, after a short illness. She was 96 years old. Phyllis' daughter, Phyllis Lynes, was by her side. Mrs. Murphy was a long term resident of Highland Falls, New York, who relocated to California five years ago. Phyllis is the widow of Frank Murphy, a lifetime resident of Highland Falls. In their 65 years together they raised a daughter, spent the winter months in California with their grandsons Will and John, and remained actively involved in the Highland Falls community when they returned home each spring.
Daughter of the late Alfred Allen Chaney from Gambrills, Maryland, and Minnie May Phillips from Stony Point, New York, Phyllis was born on November 14, 1924, in Gambrills, Maryland. She was the middle child of seven. Phyllis grew up in New York, Maryland, and Virginia and graduated from Clarksville High School in Virginia in 1942. Upon graduation, she moved to New York City with her family, where her father had accepted a position as a radiologist with the Veteran's Administration.
Although Phyllis planned to attend Hunter College, the opportunity to serve her country at West Point as a civilian employee presented itself. She told her family the job was temporary, until school started, but she remained there for almost 40 years, serving cadets and officers in the Finance, Personnel, and Admissions Offices. During this time she received many awards for her outstanding work performance. One of Phyllis' proudest single accomplishments, which was formally recognized by the Dean and Superintendent of West Point, was her planning R-day (Reception Day) activities at West Point; the day cadets enter West Point to begin their college experience. Her passion for people and her endless ability to serve others earned her the coveted mounted cadet saber, when she retired, an accolade not previously awarded to a civilian woman. She also received the Supintendent's Citation Award for Outstanding Service.
During Phyllis' career she raised a daughter, completed her degree in Personnel and Business Management, and served as a Girl Scout Leader. Her scouts still contact her to thank her for her inspiration. She made a difference! When she retired in 1983 to spend time with her grandchildren in California, her community service became an even greater passion. When not in California, she joined the Garden Club, designed a plaque for Memorial Park, worked in the church thrift shop, and served as a docent at Constitution Island, all of which earned her the Mayor's Woman of Distinction Award in 2005. She was also active in the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists (NSDAC) and in the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) serving in leadership roles at the local, state, and national levels. She was serving as the Committee Chair for DAR Schools and the President General's Project for the Martin Severance Chapter in Pasadena, California at the time of her death. Her most cherished DAR role was serving on the DAR New York State Board from 2009 to 2012 for State Regent Denise VanBuren's Administration. Mrs. VanBuren, a dear friend of Mrs. Murphy, is the current NSDAR President General.
Phyllis had a life long passion for people. In 2016, when she moved into her new home in MonteCedro, she joined the Colorful Conversations group, the choir, the 90+ Club, and most importantly the Welcome Committee. Along with some friends, she initiated the informal Friday night sing-a-long in the lobby.
The transition to a new community was difficult for Phyllis and because of this she did everything possible to make the transition easier for others. She started a welcome table for new residents so that they would not have to eat alone. Her biggest concern was not being able to include everyone who wanted to be at the table because there was no table that large. MonteCedro's solution was to start a singles table for others who did not want to dine alone. Phyllis is described by many of her friends and team members at MonteCedro as an inspiration " a very special lady" and she was.
Survivors include her daughter and son in-law, Phyllis and Bill Lynes, her grandsons and their families, Will and Beatrice Lynes and their daughter Iseult "Ollie", and Dr. John Lynes and Dr. Pearla Baten. Phyllis loved to watch Ollie on FaceTime and she was very excited about a new great-grandson expected by Drs Lynes and Baten in February. In addition, Phyllis is survived by numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews who adore the "family matriarch" and will miss her greatly.
A memorial visitation will be held at the William F. Hogan Funeral Home in Highland Falls, New York, on January 7, 2021, between 2 pm. and 4 pm. Covid procedures will be followed.
Due to Covid restrictions a private burial will be held on January 8, 2021.
A Zoom Memorial Service will be held on January 10, 2021, at 5:00 pm EST (2:00 pm PST). All family and friends are invited to this service. For an invitation and a link to attend the virtual service contact Phyllis.firstname.lastname@example.org
Instead of flowers, the family requests donations be made to www.dar.org, the DAR President General's Project: The Next Act, to restore Constitution Hall, a national treasure; or to Sacred Heart Church in Highland Falls, where Phyllis was a member for almost 70 years.
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Thursday, January 7, 2021
William F. Hogan Funeral Home, 135 Main Street, Highland Falls, NY