Wanda LaVelle (Oliver) Murphy, 96, went home to her Lord on March 6, 2019. A Celebration of Life service will be held on her birthday, Monday, March 18th, 2019 at First Baptist Church, Enid, OK at 2 p.m. under the direction of Ladusau-Evans funeral home.
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Wanda Murphy was born March 18, 1922 to C.B. and Pearl Oliver in Ada, Oklahoma. She was the second of five children. She graduated from Ada High School in 1939 and attended East Central University, completing a business course in 1940. She worked as a secretary in Ada.
On June 9, 1942 she married her high school sweetheart, V. Pat Murphy in Hollywood, California. He had joined the Army Air Corps and Wanda moved back to Ada during his training to pilot a P-47 aircraft. On Oct 21, 1944, after 66 and ½ missions, Pat’s plane was shot down over Germany. He bailed out, was badly burned, was captured and held as POW for seven months in Germany, and was eventually liberated by the Russians.
While Pat completed his basic training and joined the war effort, Wanda moved back to Ada. She had some very heart-wrenching months when Pat became a POW. After the war, Pat entered Oklahoma University and the couple began their family. Three girls were born - Nancy, Janice and Judy. The Murphy family lived in Ada, Norman, Seminole, and moved to Enid in 1954 when Pat became manager of KCRC radio station.
Wanda was a full time Mother who loved to cook, sew and garden. She liked to read and was an excellent speller. A close friend, Betty Watson, once described Wanda in this fashion: “She was the healthiest person I ever knew. We’d all be puny. She never got sick. She would be out working in the yard.” Her priority was serving her family whom she loved dearly. She enjoyed hosting and cooking scrumptious Sunday dinners for all her family who could attend. Some of her family’s favorite dishes were her hot rolls and pecan pie.
Wanda and Pat traveled to Europe as well as many beautiful sites across America including Hawaii and Alaska. They were happily married for 57 years and set an example of a godly marriage for their children and grandchildren.
In her later years, Wanda enjoyed several “Murphy girls” road trips to Virginia; California; Branson, MO; Texas; many tourist sites and visits to friends and family in Oklahoma. To celebrate her 90th birthday, Wanda and her daughters took a hot air balloon ride in Phoenix, AR.
She became a member of First Baptist Church in Enid in 1954 and has been active in Sunday school, choir, and women’s ministry groups. Wanda loved her Lord and was an avid Bible reader, tither, and prayer warrior. She was ready to meet her Lord.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Pat Murphy; her parents, C.B. and Pearl Oliver; two brothers, W.C. Oliver and C.B. Oliver; and her sister, Virginia Tyree.
Wanda will be greatly missed by her surviving family: her daughters and sons-in law, Nancy and Esley Koehn of Enid, OK; Janice and Don Jones of Stafford, VA; Judy and James Robinson of Durant, OK; her sister Phyllis (William) Burchfiel of Houston, TX; her brother-in-law, Jack Tyree of Okmulgee, OK; and her sister-in-law, Tommie Oliver of Norman, OK; as well as many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her eleven grandchildren: Spencer and Kristin of Koehn of Enid, OK; Annesha and Joe Dib of Fort Mill, SC; Celeste and Daniel Ezell of Kentfield, CA; Keynan Koehn of Stillwater, OK; Chelsea and Ben Farr of Abilene, TX; Amanda and Dave O’Connor of Denver, CO; Heather Jones of Blue Hill, Maine; Nicholas Jones of Lansing, MI; Jayme and Randy Wood of Weatherford, TX; Joni and Jeremy Smith of Durant, OK; Justin and Jaci Robinson of Garland, TX; and 22 great-grandchildren.
Memorials in her honor may be given to First Baptist Church in Enid, OK or to the Salvation Army.