Saying Goodbye For Now

by | Dec 19, 2017 | Requiescat in Pace | 13 comments

After receiving his law degree at Notre Dame University, my grandfather served in the Marine Corps from 1953-1957, achieving the rank of Captain. My dad was born at Camp Lejeune while he was in the Marines. 

On December 3rd, the first Sunday of Advent this year, I woke up to the news that my grandfather had passed away early that morning. So many emotions and tears, both sad and happy… Sad that he is gone, but happy that he had long faith and family filled life, and I can’t help smiling at the thought of him seeing my grandmother again. She passed away in 1990 and I still miss her dearly.

Dancing with Grandpa on my wedding day • Party following my baptism and my grandparent’s 25th Anniversary Mass
Grandpa holding me sitting next to his mom when I was almost a week old • My grandparents on their wedding day

I had really hoped to make the trip to his funeral, but when it was scheduled for our daughter’s 8th birthday, combined with how hard it is to travel with the baby and not getting enough sleep, I decided to stay home… but early Thursday morning, after getting a decent nights sleep (six hours or so, two three hour stretches!) I decided that I just couldn’t miss my grandfathers funeral. I made some last minute plans, packed my bag and the diaper bag, and got on the road with two of our teens and the baby, to make the long drive to California. 

As the first-born grandchild, I have so many wonderful memories of my Grandpa Murphy, my dad’s dad, and I’m so thankful that I was able to attend the rosary (we made it just in time Thursday night), funeral Mass (Friday morning- I was asked to do the first reading and prayers of the faithful, my youngest cousin did the second reading) and his burial.
My Dad is standing next to my grandma in this picture. 
My oldest son laughed when he saw that his grandpa, my dad, had his famous “head tilt” even as a child! 

Despite the sad circumstances, it was so great to see all my aunts and uncles together again, and see many of my cousins and childhood friends as well! 

My Grandfather’s 10 children in birth order. My Dad is the oldest son.
Three of my uncles (including the twins) and one aunt were adopted as babies.
I loved hearing the story of how my Grandpa flew from CA to South Dakota with my one week old auntie, and just a diaper and a bottle, when he brought her home to meet the rest of her family after her birth. 

I’m the oldest grandchild and I’m standing next to my 13 year old cousin Byrce who is the youngest. My uncle asked Bryce and I to do the readings for the funeral Mass. Out of my grandparents 28 grandchildren, 17 of us were able to make it to Grandpa’s funeral. A few cousins had to leave before we snapped a picture.

Richard R. Murphy
Jan. 24, 1929 – Dec. 3, 2017

Richard R. Murphy (Richie, Dick), of Stockton, 88 years of age, was born and raised in rural Iroquois, South Dakota, and received his undergraduate degree from St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN. He went on to receive his law degree at Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana, where he met JoAnn Baltes (1929-1990), whom he married in 1953. They raised 9 children together in Orange County, CA, Dell Rapids, SD, and Stockton, CA, where they owned and operated West Lane Tennis Club as a family business. After JoAnn’s death, Richard married Mary Berry of Susanville, CA, and they had a son, Richard B. Murphy, in 1993. In 2006, Richard married Darlene Gunda, and they enjoyed 11 years together.

Richard served in the Marine Corps from 1953-1957, achieving the rank of Captain. He enlisted after he completed his law degree. Richard practiced law for over 50 years in Southern California, South Dakota, Northern California and Indiana. Richard was very devoted to his faith, and took pride in helping others, both professionally and in his personal life. He relished raising his family and enjoying his grandchildren. He loved athletics and was an avid racquetball and basketball player. He also enjoyed watching the University of Notre Dame football games.

Richard is survived by his wife, Darlene Gunda-Murphy; 10 children: Shannon, Pat (Josephine), Tom (Cheryl), Sean (Lori), Jeb, Tad, Kelly (Jackie), Casey (Tonia), Bridget (Shawn), and Richard B. Murphy. Richard also had 28 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren. 

In your charity, would you please offer a prayer for the soul of my Grandpa Murphy?
Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


  1. jbc2789

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.

    2017-12-20 03:24:18

  2. Sonja C.

    V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine. R. Et lux perpetua luceat eis. Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen. My deepest sympathies, Jessica, to you and your family. My grandfather passed away ten years ago, just after my second son was born. I still miss him greatly — he was like a father to me. Take comfort in those precious memories of him, and my prayer is for his eternal peace in Our Lord's presence.

    2017-12-20 04:21:59

  3. Sarah

    Praying for the repose of his soul. This was a beautiful post and I'm glad you were able to make it to his funeral. God bless you!

    2017-12-20 05:48:06

  4. Sherri

    May your Grandpa rest in peace. I thank him for his service to our country. Sending prayers your way, Sherri

    2017-12-20 06:06:51

  5. Amy

    Prayers for him and your whole family – I'm so sorry for your loss, perhaps felt even more deeply right now before Christmas. As an aside, your two aunts resemble each other so much I never would have guessed they aren't blood relatives!

    2017-12-20 06:51:05

  6. Joan

    Sorry for your loss. Prayers for Richard Murphy and family. God Bless. Joan

    2017-12-20 21:46:50

  7. Marilyn

    Sorry to hear of the passing of your grandfather. Rest in Peace Richard Murphy. Marilyn

    2017-12-20 21:47:53

  8. Marion

    Prayer for you and your family. May your grandfather "Rest In Peace" Marion

    2017-12-20 21:51:45

  9. Grace

    I will offer a prayer for your Grandpa. I just made an interesting connection. As I'm looking at your pictures, one of your dad's brothers (Tom) looked very familiar. Turns out he goes to my parish! My daughter was learning crochet from his wife 🙂 It's a small Catholic world :).

    2017-12-22 12:03:00

  10. Jessica Gordon

    Oh wow! He is also my godfather! It was so nice to see him again.

    2017-12-22 15:46:32

  11. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Sarah! God bless you too!

    2017-12-22 16:04:22

  12. Jessica Gordon

    I'm so grateful for all the wonderful memories! It's been over twenty-seven years since we lost my grandmother, my dad's mom, and being up on the altar at the same church (I sang with cousins and friends – well I tried to sing while sobbing- at her funeral as a child) and then at the same cemetery since they are now buried in the same plot, brought back so many painful memories. Just last week I ran across a book my grandpa gave me on Thanksgiving Day in 1990, the year my grandma died, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers! The paperback cover is tattered after reading it so many times over the years. Thank you for the prayers for his soul. I'll offer a prayer for your grandfather too!

    2017-12-22 16:03:41


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prayer of Mothers

Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

Our Family

Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-22, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-19, Snuggles-16, Rose-14, Bud-12, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

A Little About Me

Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

My Other Blog: Catholic Cuisine

Please Visit My Sponsors…

This Week's Popular Posts

Shower of Roses Affiliate Links

All About Spelling
All About Reading
All About Reading Pre-reading
All About Reading Giveaways
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Our Advent & Christmas Books

Shower of Roses Christmas Gift Guides

Looking for Something?

Looking Back

  • 2024 (6)
  • 2023 (30)
  • 2022 (48)
  • 2021 (48)
  • 2020 (57)
  • 2019 (61)
  • 2018 (90)
  • 2017 (128)
  • 2016 (148)
  • 2015 (172)
  • 2014 (227)
  • 2013 (238)
  • 2012 (308)
  • 2011 (297)
  • 2010 (313)
  • 2009 (486)
  • 2008 (564)
  • 2007 (148)