WAØZCM -Neva Murphy SK

1937 – 2016


Life Story for Neva Murphy

Neva Jean (Barnes) Murphy was born August 30, 1937 to Charles ‘Ike’ and Gladys (Lane) Barnes at the Rock County Hospital in Bassett, NE. She was born weighing only 2 lbs. 14 oz. which was her life’s first big hurdle. Growing up, she was involved in Elkhorn Valley 4-H Club. She showed beef and was involved in cooking, canning and sewing. She was Rock County fair queen in 1955. Neva was awarded the Federal Cartridge Cooperation trip to conservation in Chadron in ’53 and ’54. She graduated from Rock County High School in May 1955 and began teaching that fall. Hers was the last class that was able to teach right out of high school.

Don was honorable discharged from the Army after a tour of duty in Korea on November 25, 1958. Neva married Donald L. Murphy at the United Methodist Church in Bassett on January 1, 1959 and they made their first home seven miles west of Sargent, NE. They were blessed with two children: Bryan Kent and Brenda Kay. In 1961, they purchased a house in Sargent. She continued to teach school in Custer, Loup and Garfield.

In 1970, Neva received her Ham radio license WA0ZCM. In 1975, the Murphy family moved to Camp Rockhaven four miles east of Gothenburg for the next 13 years. Neva then became the lay pastor and served the churches in Gothenburg and Ogallala. In 1993, she resigned from the Ogallala church due to her diagnosis of breast cancer. After several years and a courageous battle, she took on the job as pastor at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Ainsworth, NE. October 8, 2006 was a special day for Neva when she was ordained as pastor in the Church of God. She retired from the church in 2015. Neva, a cancer survivor, served as a Sandhills Cancer Fund board member. She enjoyed quilting, crafting and attending tractor pulls with her family. Neva passed away November 21, 2016 at the Rock County Hospital in Bassett.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother Lloyd Barnes; 17 day old infant brother Charles Kay; and parents-in-law Dan and Bessie (Rogers) Murphy.

She is survived by her husband Don of Ainsworth; son Bryan (Juliene) Murphy of Ainsworth; daughter Brenda (Mark) Knight of Ord; 6 grandchildren: Ashley Victoria Murphy, Tanner Charles Don Knight, Jordyn Jean Knight, Marley Juliene Murphy, Hayley Clarissa Murphy and Brandt Kaleb Murphy; and one great grandson Teague Bryan Braun.

Memorials may be made in care of the family to support the Heifer Project.

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