Gwendol “Gwen” Florence (Holst) Murphy was born the second child to Emil and Lorraine Holst. She started her journey through life March 14, 1931 during a nasty blizzard in Hartley, Iowa. At the age of two she and her infant sister contracted pneumonia. Gwen received a second chance in life but unfortunately her sister passed on. Gwen passed away at the age of 83 after a lengthy illness on July 9, 2014 while a resident at Hillcrest Care Center, Wray, Colorado.
Gwen grew up in a little town in North West Iowa by the name of Harris. Before graduating from Harris High School she enjoyed many activities. One of her favorite was basketball, which she excelled in and was fortunate enough to play on a winning team which traveled from Iowa to Texas to play. While a young woman she spent a lot of her time with family doing special things. One of her favorites was going to Lake Okoboji and roller skating at Arnolds Park with her brother. In 1949, Gwen continued her education by attending a business college in Omaha, NE. While in Omaha she worked for a company called Mutual, attended the United Methodist Church, and enjoyed the churches youth fellowship groups.
While attending a youth fellowship activity she met the love of her life. Charles L. (Chuck) Murphy and Gwen were married June 17, 1951 in Harris, Iowa. To this union were born two sons, Steven and Stanley, and on daughter, Barbara. They started their married life on a farm near Chuck’s parent’s farm in South Central NE. An opportunity arose in Gwen’s home town of Harris to purchase a grocery store. They moved to Iowa and operated the store for a couple years. They decided it wasn’t their forte so when an opportunity for Chuck presented itself they moved the family to Ragan, NE where Gwen became a homemaker. In 1964, they moved from Ragan, NE to McDonald, KS, and in 1968 on to Wray, CO.
After moving to McDonald Gwen happened onto a hobby that carried through most of her life. She became an accomplished painter. If you were to visit any family member or friend’s home you would find her beautiful art adorning their walls.
Gwen was employed by several local businesses in Wray before purchasing her own clothing store. she operated the Mode-O-Day / Fashion Crossroads until her retirement. With time on her hands Gwen could bake up her specialties, donut holes and cookies. Retirement gave them the time to relax and travel. They especially enjoyed the time they spent with her siblings and their spouses. Chuck and Gwen really enjoyed being around people so when offered the position to manage the Wray Country Club Pro Shop it was the natural thing for them to do.
Gwen was preceded in death by her loving husband, her parents, and infant sister Judith. She was also preceded by three great grandchildren, twins, Cole and Cooper Schoenthal and Ryan Dale Murphy, all born at rest.
She is survived by son, Steven (Kelly) Murphy, son, Stanley (Jo) Murphy of Wellfleet, NE, and daughter, Barbara (Dick) Dodson of Elwood, NE, brother, Dalbert (Liz) Holst of Spirit Lake, IA, sister, Beverly (Chuck) Woodworth of Milford, IA.
She is also survived by nine grandchildren, Dawn (Luis) Ramos of Killeen, TX, Dana (Frank) Miller of Valentine, NE, Matthew Dodson of Elwood, NE, Shelly Hardesty, Laura Murphy (Brandon Schoenthal), Shari (Tommy) Bolio of Benkelman, NE, Nikki (Malcom) Dornhoff of Hartwell, NE, Sheila (Jeremy) Lutz of Windsor, CO and Justin Dodson of Elwood, NE.
Also surviving, Gwen are eighteen great grandchildren, Alex and Michael Ramos; Nathan, KayLynn, Cody, and Casey Miller; Taelyn Pritchard; Alea and Ty Hardesty; Audrey Watkins, Bryant and Alivia Schoenthal; Patrick Murphy; Makenna and Marah Dornhoff; and Gracie, Lillie and Blake Lutz.
Gwen’s favorite saying was, “What a wonderful life.”
She passed away July 9, 2014 at Hillcrest Care Center in Wray, Colorado. A Memorial service was held Monday, July 14, 2014, 2:30 p.m. at the Wray United Methodist Church in Wray, Colorado with Rev. Norman Stott officiating. A joint inurnment was held for Chuck and Gwen in the Grandview Cemetery in Wray, Colorado after Gwen’s Memorial Service. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Plains, P.O. Box 365, Wray, Colorado 80758. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.