Carolyn Murphy: November 12, 1933 – February 8, 2024

Carolyn ‘Lyn’ Anne Murphy passed away peacefully at home on February 8th, 2024 surrounded by loving family and friends. She was 90 years old.

Carolyn was born on November 12, 1933 in Huntly, New Zealand and spent an idyllic childhood on her family’s sheep farm in Rangiriri. She later attended St. Cuthbert’s boarding school in Auckland, and received her physiotherapy degree from Otago University. In college, Carolyn excelled in multiple sports but never boasted about winning championships in the discus and shot put, setting collegiate records in the javelin, 50 yard-freestyle and individual medley, and playing on New Zealand’s national field hockey team.

Carolyn shared her love of movement throughout her lifetime, especially to the underserved. While living in Canada in the 1950s and 60s, she developed exercise courses for women and was the Physical Director at the YWCA in St. Catherines and Lethbridge. She started the Arthritis Aquatics program in Oak Harbor, and was part of the physical therapy team at Whidbey General Hospital for 16 years.

Carolyn was a devoted volunteer in the Whidbey Island community for 56 years. She was a founding member of the Whidbey Weavers Guild, a devoted Master Gardener, a protector of Pigeon Guillemot colonies for the Beach Watchers and Island County’s first-ever 4-H Leader of the Year. She found joy in donating her boundless energy to the gardens, people, and public lands in her adopted country.

At 84 years of age, Carolyn became an American citizen. After years of persuading others how to vote, Carolyn finally got to cast her own ballot. She was a protector of equal rights, an advocate for higher education, a believer in affordable health care and a supporter of the arts.

Carolyn will be remembered for her sincerity, generosity, practicality, and loyalty to her international relatives and to her husband of 62 years. Her delicious farm-to-table meals, her hand written cards of appreciation, her open-door “come in and take a seat at the table” hospitality, and her sharp wit will be greatly missed.

Carolyn is survived by her husband Frank, her children Murray (Anne) Murphy, Andrew (Lesley) Murphy, and Kate (Mike) Burns and 9 grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her sister, Peggy. A celebration of Carolyn’s life will be held on July 27, 2024, and her remains will be returned to New Zealand.