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Obituary of Diane Gilbert Murphy
Diane Gilbert Murphy, 75, of Pentwater, Mich. and Essex, Conn. died unexpectedly Sunday, December 5. Mrs. Murphy was born March 2, 1946 in Chicago, the daughter of the late Dr. Robert Gilbert and Anne Heneage Gilbert. She attended local schools in Chicago, and spent her summers in Pentwater, her favorite place. Diane attended Connecticut College and ultimately graduated from University of Connecticut with a BA in History. After completing her undergraduate degree, she worked in commercial banking at Shawmut National in Hartford, Conn. and The Washington Trust in Westerly, R.I. After several decades in banking, she discovered that her real passion was helping others, and earned a Masters in Social Work from Rhode Island College. Shortly thereafter, she opened her own clinical social work practice, and committed the later years of her career to that noble profession. Mrs. Murphy loved pets, and took in numerous strays over the years, much to the bemusement, and sometime chagrin of Gib, her beloved husband of 32 years, who could barely keep track of the names of the animals climbing around their home. Diane also enjoyed traveling and infused that passion into her six grandchildren. She brought them on numerous vacations, including trips to California, Washington, DisneyWorld, Paris, and London. In addition to being a voracious reader, Mrs. Murphy enjoyed playing all sorts of card games with her girlfriends. She also spent countless hours playing cribbage with Gib. Her trademark high-pitched salutations, infectious laugh, and overall vibrancy will be sorely missed. Mrs. Murphy also knew how to put people in their place; she had a legendary eyeroll, and used it extremely effectively. Perhaps what she was best known for, however, was being an incredibly caring and protective mother of her two daughters. Diane was a kind, resilient, caring, and thoughtful mother, grandmother, wife and friend. In addition to her late husband of 32 years, she leaves her two children, Jennifer VanBelle of Greenwich, Conn. and Sarah Sykes of Foxboro, Mass. She also leaves three stepchildren, Josh Murphy and his wife Alma of Westbrook, Conn.; Deirdre Murphy and her husband Ernie Torres of North Kingstown, RI; and Justin “Jud” Murphy of West Hartford. “DiDi” also leaves her grandchildren, Haley, Lily, and CJ Sykes; Nicholas and Thomas VanBelle; and Dylan Murphy. She is also survived by her siblings, Nancy Murphy and her husband Steve of Biddeford Pool, Maine; Jane Hancock of Bogota, N.J.; and Clark Gilbert of Gladwyne, Penn. Additionally, she leaves a sister-in-law, Tina Gilbert of Pentwater. She was predeceased by her brother, Bobby Gilbert, her sister, Betsy Ann Gilbert, and her brother- and sister-in-law, Austin and Patricia Murphy. Her many nieces and nephews also mourn her loss. There will be a celebration of Mrs. Murphy’s life at the Shelter Harbor Inn in Westerly RI from 12-2 on Friday, December 10th. There will also be a celebration in her honor next summer, in Pentwater as well. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Pentwater Women’s Club, PO Box 1104, Pentwater, MI 49449. To share a memory of her or send a condolence to the family please visit www.rwwfh.com Arrangements are in the care of the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook, Connecticut.