Helen F. Murphy
Helen Frances Murphy, 74, of Vanderpool died on Feb. 2, 2020, at her home on the upper Sabinal Canyon.
A memorial service will be held March 7 at 10:30 a.m. at the Utopia Baptist Church, 241 Johnson St. in Utopia.
She was born on Sept. 27, 1945, in Ballinger to Virginia (Fowler) and Pat Murphy.
She grew up a country girl in Runnels County in a house her father built along the verdant banks of Bluff Creek with her brother, Mike Murphy.
She graduated from Ballinger High School and later put herself through college while raising her four sons. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from San Angelo State University and worked as a registered nurse at Shannon Medical Center for many years.
In 2008, she moved to Vanderpool to care for her uncle, Warren Murphy, and raise her granddaughter. She continued her nursing career, working for Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrville and then Bandera Tri County Home Health.
She had a passion for the arts. As a young woman, she loved to paint landscapes and draw wildlife as her grandmother had enjoyed. She also enjoyed ceramics and playing the piano.
The family said her talent was an inspiration to them. They said Murphy had the ability to transform everywhere she lived into blooming gardens of abundance and beauty.
Sophia Patterson, one of her eight grandchildren, described her as beautiful, like a flower or a stream. Her grandchildren believe if “Nana,” as they called her, were a flower, she would surely be her favorite – the iris.
She fed birds by the thousands. As anyone who sat on her porch would know, it was often hard to hear the creek over the sound of dozens of hummingbirds buzzing through the air. She loved watermelons in summer and apricots fresh off the tree.
She was famed in her family for her homemade blackberry cobbler along with other baked delights. She was an avid quilter, sewing stacks of quilts known for their beauty and warmth. She loved to laugh and tell stories. She had a quick wit, an infectious smile, and a compassionate spirit.
According to the family, she was a woman of faith whose life was deeply rooted in love, and she spread that love to all she touched. Hers was a kind and generous soul who always put her family first.
She is survived by four sons, Chip Patterson of Dripping Springs, Cary Patterson of Fort Worth, Matthew Patterson of Mobile, Alabama, and Jonathan Patterson of Utopia; and eight grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Mike Murphy; and uncle, Warren Murphy.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations in her name to the Utopia Baptist Church P.O. Box 240, Utopia, TX 788884, or the Utopia Memorial Library Garden P.O. Box 677, Utopia, TX 78884.
Grimes Funeral Chapels-Bandera, www.grimesfuneralchapels.com