Nancy O'Dea Murphy

Nancy O’Dea Murphy passed away peacefully last Thursday night in the loving company of her family.

On August 7th, 2015 she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer and had been undergoing treatment for the disease in Massachusetts.

Nancy was born on January 29th in Waterbury, CT. She attended Crosby High School in Waterbury, CT, and studied nursing at St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Waterbury. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Boston College and her Masters in Psychiatric Nursing from Boston University. She also did graduate studies in English. A lifelong lover of people and learning, Nancy’s career as a nurse included posts such as nursing supervisor at Massachusetts General Hospital, psychiatric nurse at the Child Guidance Clinic in Waterbury, CT, medical policy writer for Oxford Health Care company, and work at the Westchester Head Start Program, among other positions.

She also taught English in the Ridgefield Public School system at the 8th grade and high school levels. Her volunteer activities were based around the same humanitarian concerns, such as being a mentor for the Danbury student mentor program and supporting the Mountain Moms of Monticelllo, KY by gathering monthly boxes of goods for women and children. She loved nature and animals, enjoying feeding the birds in her yard and adopting pets who came into her life in need of a home.

Nancy particularly enjoyed the wonderful classes offered at Founder’s Hall, and often remarked how lucky we are in Ridgefield to have such high quality educational opportunities right in our own town. An avid reader with a special love for poetry, she was a member of the Ridgefield Readers book club. She enjoyed attending concerts, plays, and art museums both locally and in the city, and was always truly grateful for the blessings of her dear friends and family. Her great happiness of recent years was in being grandmother to her four grandchildren, and she enjoyed playing with them, helping them with their schoolwork, attending their games and performances, and participating in their many developmental milestones.

She is survived by her husband Joseph Francis Murphy  of Ridgefield; her two brothers John O’Dea of San Pedro, CA and Joseph O’Dea of Ansonia, CT; her two daughters Catherine Mary (Kate) Haber (Marc) of Longmeadow, MA and Anne Maureen Murphy of Ridgefield, CT; and her four grandchildren: Murphy Elizabeth, Rowan Joseph, Dylan Samuel, and Maeve Charlotte Haber. In honor of Nancy, instead of flowers or gifts it is requested that well-wishers perform an act of kindness to someone in need.

A Funeral Mass celebrating her life will be held at Sacred Heart Church, 30 Church Street, Redding, CT on Friday, October 16th at 11 am. A reception will follow at noon at the Lounsbury House, 316 Main Street, Ridgefield. Burial will be private. Arrangements entrusted to the Byron Keenan Funeral Home 1858 Allen Street, Springfield, MA, 01118.

— By the Family