Susan S. Murphy is one of a kind

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2005

I was trying to think about what I could write about this week.

Some of you have said my columns have become somewhat different than they've been in the past.

You might say my world has changed, and the things I write about have changed as well.

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So today, I want to talk about a special woman in Greenville.

She is someone I now consider a close friend and confidante and someone I know I can lean on in my darkest days.

Many of you have probably never met her, but that isn't because you don't have the opportunity.

She is very visible at civic groups, being a member of several.

She is always the life of the party around her, and she has a crazy, maniacal laugh.

Hopefully, by now you know that I'm talking about Susan S. Murphy.

I was at first standoffish with Susan when I came back to town.

But then I took a road trip with her and other council members to the AIDT facility in Montgomery and got to know more about her.

She quickly disarms you with her quick wit, big smile and again, that unmistakeable laugh.

On that trip, I learned that she was adopted, and then all of her work with the county's foster children suddenly made sense to me.

She understands the importance of children having safe homes to live in, and she works tirelessly each year to recognize the foster parents who take in other people's children.

For years, I imagine, Susan was known as the wife of John Murphy, who tragically died in Florida several years ago.

From people I've talked to, she was the force behind the man, but her job was to keep their home and raise their children.

In the years since his death, Susan has come into her own.

She has served as a city councilmember, sat on numerous boards, as noted, worked with various civic groups and so much more.

I recently attended three different functions in the same day, and Susan was present at each one, smiling and laughing about something or another.

That's the way she is.

The great thing about her is that she does it all without want of recognition.

She does it because she considers public service a part of her lifestyle.

That was very much the way her late husband was here in Butler County.

On several occasions I had to go see Mr. Murphy at Allied about sponsoring one thing or another at Greenville High School.

It was never a hard sale.

Usually, he asked how my classes were going, how my family was doing or what I was planning to do in the future.

Then he'd hand me a check and back to the high school I'd go.

You never wondered if John Murphy supported the county's school system.

He did it through actions.

And in the last few years, you have not had to question what Susan Murphy supports.

That's easy.

She supports anything that makes a difference in the lives of the people who live here.

That's a pretty big job if you ask me, but she does it so well with such style, grace and panache.

Susan Murphy, thank you for all you do!

Jay Thomas is managing editor of the Greenville Advocate.

He can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 136 or via email at

Regular mail is P.O. Box 507, Greenville, AL 36037.