Josephine "Jo" Velasquez Murphy
July 19, 1930 - April 20, 2020
Beloved Mother, Grandmother, and Great-grandmother Josephine “Josie” Velasquez Murphy passed away peacefully on Monday April 20th at the home of her daughter Margaret and son-in law Rex Boedigheimer.
Born July 19, 1930 in Metcalf, Arizona, Jo the self-described “Tom Boy” was the 2nd child of Richard Velasquez and Delia Guerrero. Raised in southwest Arizona between the mining town of Clifton and the Capital city of Phoenix her youth was spent working the various cotton, fruit and vegetable fields, and selling tamales with her Godmother Maria and her cousin Panchita. With three brothers and Cousins she loved playing football and roaming around the hills of Clifton and Morenci Arizona. As the oldest girl of the family and as is tradition she was charged with caring for each of the subsequent 11 or so younger half-siblings whenever her stepmother gave birth. She loved Clifton, her Nana and Panchita.
Life changes and her first adventure was in 1949 when she moved to Los Angeles, California and gave birth to her eldest daughter, Brillante. She would later tell her family how the County hospital General Hospital made her fold laundry because labor was just taking too long. She married her first husband in Los Angeles and had 2 more children, Kasandra and Raul.
In the early 1960’s she married again, she and her second husband Thomas James Murphy lived in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California adding to the Murphy clan. In 1963 her youngest child, Margaret was born.
Josephine attended a business school in the late 1950’s which gave her the skills for entry into the data processing field. Now we refer to this field as “Information systems.” While her children were young, she was employed at various companies in the Los Angeles area where she earned promotions and the reputation as a reliable hard worker, which brought her to a key position in data processing for Warner Brothers studios in Burbank California.
Shortly before the 1971 Sylmar earthquake in Southern California she and her husband decided to move to Oregon. After surviving the earthquake she, Tom along with their 2 youngest children moved to an old dairy farm in Lyons, Oregon and started what she later referred to as , “The Oregon adventure.” Other adventures followed as in 1974 they briefly moved to Virginia, then by way of Tustin, California settling in Tustin, in 1975 they made their way back to Oregon with only the youngest child.
Josephine worked for the Salem-Keizer school district and Holiday Retirement until she retired to start her own business, Josephine decided to return to her root-skills taught by her family and she opened a in home child care, giving her the ability to stay home with her husband who battled cancer for 6 years. With the assistance of Hospice she cared for Tom until his death in 1996. She continued her successful business and care for her grandchildren, running her child-care business until 2011 at the age of 81 when she suffered a major stroke. She dearly loved her child-care families thus providing them with a safe loving environment. She thought of her,” Day care children “ as an extension of her family and often went above and beyond to support them and their families especially in times of crisis.
She was famous for her superb Mexican cooking. She thoroughly enjoyed preparing tamales, flour tortillas and other Mexican favorites. The Grandchildren always commented that she was like a human tortilla machine, rolling a dozen or more flour tortillas in a matter of minutes. She found a lot of joy in having guests in her home and feeding people.
Curiously, Josephine had a special connection with doves. She told her children, grandchildren and great grand children how a dove would fly up to her and land at her feet until she picked it up. The dove would coo at her then fly away. About a week later she would discover that she was pregnant as was the case with all her four children. She always felt the doves were messengers from God foretelling of a blessing.
Josephine was a courageous, stubborn, generous and loving person, continuously striving towards kindnesses and peace. She enjoyed traveling and experienced some wonderful vacations with her daughters, and friends to Ireland, France, Greece, Germany, Belgium and Mexico. She also enjoyed returning to Arizona to see family and often took several of her Grandchildren to Disneyland. She loved the rides at Disneyland and would laugh and thoroughly enjoy herself. She was an animal lover and had a variety of pets throughout her life. Her favorite was her Ragdoll cat, Raphael.
Josephine is preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Murphy, Granddaughters, Samantha Murphy and. Crystal Sutherland. She is survived by her daughter, Brillante Murphy, Tampa Florida, Kasandra Monks, Salem Oregon, Son Raul Murphy and his wife Catherine, McMinnville, Oregon and daughter Margaret Boedigheimer and her husband Rex Salem, Oregon. Additionally there are 8 Grandchildren and 5 Great Grandchildren and her beloved cat ,Raphael.
Private services due to Covid19 restrictions.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations go to the Willamette Valley Hospice Salem, Oregon.
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