Elizabeth “Julie” (Murphy) Brown passed away peacefully at home at the age of 79 with her husband of 56 years as ever by her side. As we attempt to provide a small snapshot of a life well lived, we begin as Julie would… “Are you ready?” Born in Woburn on 8 September 1941 to the late Helen (Sheeran) and Laurence Murphy Sr., Julie was the sixth of seven children of the Murphy family. She is predeceased by sisters Anne, Mary and Bernadette, and brothers Laurence Jr. and James. She is survived by her older sister Helen McLaughlin of Concord. Truly, she was the glue that held her family together, hosting the annual family reunion in her backyard. The event grew in number each year as spouses were added and babies born… and friends and distant cousins vied for an invitation to Julie’s special soiree. Friends and family who gathered year after year cherish every photo from “on the knoll.” Julie graduated from Mt. Auburn Hospital School of Nursing in 1962. She loved being a nurse, and she was proud of her work. She made the very deliberate decision to stay at work even after she had her children, defining the first generation of working mothers. Her patients, their families and her coworkers all adored her… They could always hear her coming down the hall, her loud voice and easy laugh announcing her arrival anywhere. Julie retired from Lahey Clinic after practicing as a nurse for over 40 years. But best of all in Julie’s life was her great love affair with her husband Richard “Dick.” They married in 1964 and built their life together in North Reading, raising four daughters. In addition to her husband, Julie is survived by her children: Elizabeth and David Higginbottom of Charlestown; Jenna Russell of Oak Park, IL; Suzanne Brown and Christopher Calabia of New York, NY; and Meaghan and Nicholas Guziewicz of Somerville. Julie’s favorite people on this planet called her “Nana,” and she will be deeply missed by her nine grandchildren: Anna, Adam, Gabriella, Eliza, Julianna, Ola, Connor, Liv and Ida. She is also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins. Julie loved to travel. We suspect that Julie was most excited when her daughters married because she gained so many in-laws across the country and the globe—new places to visit! She also loved to quilt. She spent many hours in her sewing room and with her sewing friends, creating stunning quilts that were both pieces of art and felt like a warm hug from Julie on a chilly morning. Julie was and forever will be remembered as a great friend to all. She remained close with women from her childhood and built easy friendships with people she only just met. She was easy to talk to and hard to dislike. She will be forever loved and forever missed by those who knew her. In her memory, please donate to your favorite charity, do a small act of kindness, eat something you enjoy, or raise a glass with someone you love. Funeral services were private. Plans for a celebration of Julie’s life will be made at a later date when it is safe to gather.
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