Margaret Colleen Murphy was born on December 30, in 1925, in Globe. She passed away here on June 17, 2012. Her father was Michael F. Murphy, also of Globe, and her mother was Helen Conway of Waseca, Minnesota.
At the time of Colleen's birth, her father, a WWI veteran, had just been elected to the Arizona House of Representatives and was to serve for three terms. Her mother had come to visit a sister who was a nurse for Dr. Gunter, when she met and married Mike. Mike's parents had moved to the area in the early 1900’s to work at Old Dominion mine and operate a boarding house on Globe Street. Mike's sister, Kate (Murphy) O’Brien, operated a restaurant with her husband in what is now Libby’s El Rey Café.
Colleen grew up on First Street in Globe and went to Globe High School. She played violin in the orchestra until her junior year when the family moved to Tucson and then to Phoenix. As she was starting college, her father unexpectedly passed away. With Mike gone, Helen and Colleen moved to El Paso to be close to Helen's sisters and Colleen's cousin, Mark Anthony. Helen never remarried and mother and daughter were never far apart until Helen died 40 years later. Colleen went on to UCLA and then finished at University of Texas in El Paso where she majored in history with a minor in English.
Colleen was employed at American Airlines when she re-met John Mercer Jr. from Globe who was visiting relatives in El Paso. The Murphy and Mercer families had been friends since Territorial Days through Holy Angels’ church in Globe. John Mercer Sr. and Mike Murphy were charter members of the Globe Chapter of the American Legion; Mike Murphy had been the first Legion Comander in 1919. John Jr. and Colleen were acquainted as members of a Globe orchestral group that were included in an All-State School Orchestra in 1940.
Colleen and John were soon married and she moved back to Globe in 1952. John and Colleen had six children. While raising the children, Colleen worked on her Masters’ by taking courses on Channel 8, PBS. She taught two years at Holy Angels’ school from 1964 to 1966. She was a member of the Globe Emblem Club, Madera Women’s Club and Globe’s first Toastmistress Club. Colleen also worked as an election official in the 3rd Ward in the 70's and 80's.
In 1984, at the age of 58, she began working at the Miami Public Library and in 1990 she moved to the Globe Library. She retired from library work at the County Law library in 2002 at age 76. Since that time she has helped her husband, John, in the charter bus business until poor health forced them both to retire in 2010.
Colleen's hobbies included bridge, reading, local history, bowling when she was younger, crafts, and baking cookies for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was very involved as a volunteer with Holy Angels’ church and school and was great friends with the Presentation sisters, even visiting them at their homes in Ireland. She and John enjoyed traveling, taking bus trips with the charter bus business. She loved visiting her daughter in Oregon almost every year for 30 years. She and John also enjoyed attending Lawence Welk performances whenever they came to Arizona and went to see the Welk performers in Los Angeles and Branson, Missouri. She enjoyed museums, music, and the Arts.
She is survived by her husband, John, and children: Theresa (and Rick) Savedra, Kathleen Mercer (and Nolan Frost), Dennis Mercer, Tommy (and Kathy) Mercer, Sharon (and Bill) Navarro, and Chris Mercer. Her grandchildren are: Camille Savedra, Ariana Lucas, Manny, Xavier, and Sean Savedra; Erin (Mark) Byrge, Ian Murphy, Ben Fischer (and Clare Parker) and Spencer Frost (step); Dr. Laura Mercer and Marina Mercer; Maj. Vincent Navarro (and Deidre), Elena Navarro (and Chris McGroarty), Brian (and Judy) Navarro, Melanie (and Lincoln) Hansen, Benino Navarro, and Shilah Navarro; Helen Mercer, Stephanie (and Ty) Wong of Austraila, and Christopher Wayne Mercer.
There are also 16 great-grandchildren: Melissa & Tyler (Erin), Brandon & Sophia (Vincent), Trenton (Elena), Gemma & Calder (Melanie), Baydon (Ari), Madison & Liam (Sean), Vivia & Danika (Brian), Nicholas (Helen), Jayden, Isabel & Jacob (Stephanie).
Colleen was much loved by her husband, children, grand and great-grand children and her many friends. She always made spending time with family her top priority. She made each friend and relative feel special, taking the time to send a card or letter, and saving newspaper articles she thought would interest someone. She was admired for her kindness and intelligence. All six of her children and many of the grandchildren were with her in her final hours. She will be greatly missed.