Cover photo for Barbara Lynn Murphy's Obituary
Barbara Lynn Murphy Profile Photo
1952 Barbara 2021

Barbara Lynn Murphy

July 15, 1952 — February 6, 2021

Barb was a native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and a graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School where she was a founding member of the AL pom pom squad. She went on to obtain a Bachelors of Science degree in Education and Psychology from Iowa State University where she was a Kappa Kappa Gamma, and the life of the party.

Barb was loyal to and beloved by her hometown of Council Bluffs for her selfless service to community, most notably with the Chamber of Commerce. In 2017, Barb was honored by the Chamber as the CB Ambassador of the year. She put her heart in to several community projects, a favorite being the largest inclusive and ADA play space in Iowa, the “Dream Playground”.

Barb was formally a beloved educator whose students often recalled her as their favorite teacher and a true life-changer. She always had time for anyone needing extra help and always offered snacks. After a career transition, she became an admired and successful sales professional with Kinseth Hospitality Company; a position she held and loved for 15 years. In 2014, she was honored as the Director of Sales of the year.

Barb was always laughing; it was her trademark. She always had a 12 pack of Coke in her fridge. She loved art, music, coffee, McDonald’s, and crossword puzzles. Every Christmas, she created the most magical decorative holiday displays. She loved quoting her favorite films and watching Hallmark movies. Forever a cheerleader, she was a die-hard Nebraska Cornhusker and Kansas City Chiefs fan, and got to celebrate the Chiefs’ first Super Bowl win in 50 years. She was known to offer help at the grocery store or the gas station to those who she could tell were struggling. She was passionate about making others feel important and seen. She is the reason that her daughters love to compliment others to make them feel good, as they’d seen their mom do this her entire life. She was steadfast in her faith. She was emphatically stylish. She was endlessly creative. She was inherently competitive. She was the most brilliant person in every room.

Barb’s vivacious spirit lives on through her four daughters with the love of her life, Tom Murphy: Liz Murphy Grimm (Rob), Katie Murphy Rathe (Mark), Claire Murphy Sewell (Zach), and Caroline Murphy. Her adored grandchildren: Max Murphy, Natalie Kate, Miles Thomas, Logan Thomas, and Maren Colette. Her built-in best friends: her sweet sisters, Nancy Dorr (Jim), Judy O’Brien, and Kate Bruce (Steve). Her nieces: Anne Bailey (Chip), Jane Bruce (Elliah), Claire Bruce, and her nephew, Robert Dorr (Justene). Her aunts: Diane O’Brien and Colette Holmgard. Her wide circle of life-long friends and neighbors. And, her eight grandpets that she loved petting and seeing photos of.

Barb was welcomed in to Heaven by her loving parents, Robert and Elizabeth O’Brien, her one-of-a-kind big sister, Jacqueline Wintour, and several beloved aunts and uncles. We know they are already drinking wine and celebrating her arrival.

We are indebted to the world-class physicians who cared for Barb at Jennie Edmundson hospital, specifically Dr. Mukherjee and the nursing staff of angels: Kristin, Emily, Christina, Mirtha, Missy, Sarah, Laura, Bailey, Mackenzie, Nicole, Jake, and Lindsay.

As a family, we are heartbroken to lose the most effervescent and wonderful woman we were blessed with as a mom, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. At only 68, we can’t help but think she had more to do. But, we are endlessly proud of her. Her legacy of empathy and kindness will live on forever, and be immortal.

Visitation will be held from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM at Hoy Kilnoski Funeral Home on Thursday, February 11, 2021.

Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 PM at Hoy Kilnoski Funeral Home on Thursday, February 11, 2021. The family will direct memorials.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, February 11, 2021

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home and Crematory

1221 North 16th Street, Council Bluffs, IA 51501

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Funeral Service

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home and Crematory

1221 North 16th Street, Council Bluffs, IA 51501

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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