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Pamela's Story

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SALEM: On the morning of December 13, Pamela Ann (Ford) Murphy died peacefully at the home she created over the course of nearly 50 years. Her husband and three sons were at her side.
Pam was born in Boston on June 16, 1939, to John B. and Margaret (Clark) Ford. Her family moved to Washington, D.C., in her early childhood. She attended Holy Cross Academy, a Catholic boarding school in that city, for her early schooling, and spent many of her childhood summers in Glenn, Michigan, on Lake Michigan, where her mother's family lived. The memories of her Glenn summers remained with her throughout her life.
After World War II, her family moved to Salem, New Hampshire, where her father practiced law. She was graduated from Tenney high School in Methuen, Massachusetts, and then the Katharine Gibbs College in Boston. In her early adulthood, Pam worked in the admissions offices of Harvard University and MIT, and later in the Institutional Department of the investment firm Merrill Lynch. She had ambitions of becoming a stockbroker in those days, until, on a cruise ship en-route to Bermuda in 1961, she met her lifelong love and soulmate, Francis "Frank" Murphy.
Pam and Frank met on April 9 that year, and they were married exactly five months later, on September 9. Their first son, Francis, was born on June 9 the following year. Two more sons, Matthew and Patrick, followed in 1964 and 1969, respectively, and Pam happily settled into a new career as mother and homemakera role she cherished for the rest of her life. One of her grandchildren, when queried recently about his memories of "Grammy," replied that he "especially liked painting with her."
She was, indeed, a lifelong artist, and explored various media including oil paints, watercolor, textiles, decoupage, and flower arranging. In recent years, she became especially accomplished at watercolor, taking classes and using studio space at the Vero Beach Museum of Art in Vero Beach, Fla.
Pam and Frank first came to Vero Beach when, upon retirement, they cruised in their own boat in 1994 along the Intracoastal Waterway to Florida, where they spent the winter. They repeated this trip for ten consecutive winters, and these slow, meandering voyages became a great source of wonder and artistic exploration for Pam. They also became the platform for a new and unlikely endeavor for her: she bred several litters of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels on board the boat, and at one time had as many as five of the dogs living aboard. Pam and Frank later became winter residents of Vero Beach.
Pam was a member of the Marblehead Arrangers, the Salem Garden Club, and the ladies auxiliary of the Division 18 Ancient Order of Hibernians. At various times, she served on the boards of North Shore Catholic Charities and St. Johns Preparatory School.
Pam is survived by her husband, Francis J. Murphy; her sons, Frank, his wife, Maura, and their children, Kaela, F.J., and Catherine, of Salem, Mass., Matthew, his wife, Holly, and their children, Linus, Odin, and Louise, of Penobscot, Maine; and Patrick, his wife, Stephanie, and their children, Roan and Ciara, of Azusa, Calif. She is also survived by her brother, Dr. Lincoln E. Ford, a research cardiologist, of Marion, Mass., and numerous cherished cousins in Michigan, Seattle, Massachusetts, and elsewhere.
Visiting hours will be held on Sunday at the Murphy Funeral Home, 85 Federal St, corner of North Street, Salem, from 3 to 7 p.m. Pamela's Funeral will be held on Monday at 10:15 a.m. from the Murphy Funeral Home, to be followed by a funeral mass at 11 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church, Salem. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Salem. Memorial donations may be made in memory of Pamela to Boston Catholic Charities, 275 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127.
Published on December 14, 2017
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