In Memoriam

Sister Joan Murphy, OP(1926-2023)

I did all that I could do, and put my trust in God. I had some difficult times and some pleasant times and that’s life. Just remember that I lived. I think I am an ordinary person trying to do what God is directing me to do. Sometimes I fail and sometimes I succeed, and I am trusting in His mercy.

This was part of Sister Joan Murphy’s response when, for her life story, she was asked how she wished to be remembered. She also said she expected she would live to be eighty-eight, but she outlasted that guess by more than a few years: she was ninety-seven, and in her seventy-seventh year of religious profession, when she went home to her God on July 28, 2023.

Sister Joan was born on July 10, 1926, in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park, Michigan, and baptized Joan Eileen. Her parents, Patrick Joseph and Margaret Marie (Hanlon) Murphy, both came to the United States from County Kerry, Ireland, within just a couple of years of each other. Patrick stayed in New York for a short while, working on the docks, but he found the work very difficult and within a week or two went to Chicago because his brothers and sisters had already emigrated there. He later moved to Detroit looking for work and found a job first with the Dodge automobile plant and then with the Ford Motor Company, working in security. It was a good, steady job, even through the difficult Depression years.

Patrick was likely at least somewhat acquainted with his future wife long before they married, as he had known her brother Jerry in Ireland and, once he moved to Detroit, lived with Jerry there for a time. As the story went, he attended an Irish dance in downtown Detroit, saw Margaret – who had come to the dance with another man, one Mr. Hogan – and when Mr. Hogan told Patrick, “That’s the girl I brought,” Patrick told him, “Maybe that’s the girl you brought, but that’s the girl I’m going to marry.”

Read more about Sister Joan (PDF).


make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

Sister's Memorial Card (PDF)

Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).

Cemetery of the Adrian Dominican Sisters

Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God — and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance. 

Helpful Links

Event Recordings (Video Library)

Dominican School Alumnae/Alumni

Become an Adrian Dominican Associate

What do you have to do to become a Sister?

Share our blog, A Sister Reflects

Sign up for the monthly Veritas newsletter (or view our other publications)

Employment opportunities


We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.


Recent Posts

Read More »