Obituary: Patty Murphy, domestic violence activist
By Ray Hanania
Patty Murphy, 51, a lifelong resident of Oak Lawn passed on October 12, 2022 after recently being diagnosed with cancer.
I had a brief opportunity to work with her in developing a PSA to promote sexual violence awareness in 2004 that publicized the support that her agency, Pillars Community Health (PCH) provided to victims.
Her friends all describe her as a person who always cared for others by going out of her way to help them when needs arose, and to give comfort and support to those who faced challenges.
Ms. Murphy was a Senior Vice President of Domestic and Sexual Violence at PCH which is located in Hickory Hills.
PCH is the premiere agency providing family support in the Southwest and West Suburbs. She oversaw the agency’s successes in providing programs that advocated for survivors, educated the public and offered information to victims on how to get help.
She worked as Director of Sexual Violence Services before taking on the position of Senior Vice Presidents for PCH, a nonprofit provider of health and social services which includes medical and dental, mental and behavioral health. PCH celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.
Ms. Murphy’s 27 years in the movement to educate and eradicate sexual and domestic violence has helped thousands of women, men, children, and families, her colleagues said.
Ms. Murphy took the initiative at work to designate a space in both the domestic and sexual violence buildings for self-care and healing and called it the “serenity room.” These rooms were meticulously decorated by Patty and had everything to make all those who came into it feel a sense of calm and peace. The intent was to give employees working in trauma a space to unwind and find tranquility.
Survivors coming in for counseling or events were also invited to enjoy the space. In addition to her work at Pillars Community Health she was a credentialed counselor and had a private practice educating individuals on substance misuse, stress reduction and healthy relationships.
Friends and associates said that Ms. Murphy was the light that beaconed for all that needed empathy, compassion, and healing. She guided all work projects with utmost care and attention to meet the goal of supporting survivors, preventing victimization and changing social norms. She embraced and welcomed the many races, religions, beliefs, sexual identities and sexual orientations of people from Chicago’s Southwest side and Southwest Suburbs. She was a model humanitarian and practiced cultural competence and cultural humility. She understood that every voice needed to be heard and understood.
Ms. Murphy was an amazing mother to her two children, Maggie and Jimmy, and beloved wife of Tim Boswell. She joins her mother, the late Susan Broderick, in heaven and is missed by her father Daniel Broderick, sister of Kelly (Tom) Houlihan, Kerry (late Chuck) Six, Erin (Mike) Mahoney, Susie (Jerry) Ashe, Shannon (Jay) Paske, Dan (Jenny) Broderick, and Mikey (Courtney) Broderick. She was a loving aunt to 19 nieces and nephews. She was a cherished friend, co-worker and role model to many.
Ms. Murphy loved life and took advantage of appreciating each and every day. The thing she loved the most was relaxing with her family at home in Oak Lawn in her beautiful spa-like backyard.
Visitation for Patty Murphy is Thursday from 3 PM to 9 PM at Curley Funeral Home, 6116 W. 111th St. Chicago Ridge. The Funeral will be Friday beginning at 9 AM from the funeral home to St. Catherine of Alexandria Church, 10621 S. Kedvale Ave, Oak Lawn, where they will hold a Mass beginning at 10 AM.
A live stream of the Mass is available by following this link: https://www.asimplestreaming.com/psmurphy.
Interment is Private. In lieu of flowers, donations to her children would be appreciated. For funeral info: 708-422-2700 or www.curleyfuneralhome.com.
The movement to end violence against women, children and families has taken a huge loss.
There is no doubt that Patty Murphy’s passing is a great loss to the community of activists and professionals who work hard day and night to protect victims of domestic violence and help to keep families together.
The following is a resolution adopted by the Pillars Community Health Board on October 18, 2022 to honor her public and community service:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
WHEREAS, Patty Murphy has been a dedicated leader at Pillars Community Health and its predecessor organizations beginning on April 5, 1995; and
WHEREAS, Patty has been the guiding force behind building Pillars Community Health’s Sexual Assault Services from a program with only 2 staff to one that is well-respected across Illinois as a fierce advocate to and on behalf of survivors of sexual violence; and
WHEREAS, Patty’s passion for survivor’s rights drove her to build and reinforce collaboration between law enforcement, criminal courts, hospitals and schools across the Pillars Community Health service area to improve their response to survivors of sexual assault through cooperative agreements; and
WHEREAS, in 2020 Patty assumed additional leadership responsibilities in bringing together domestic and sexual violence services as a single Line of Service, expanded her passion and advocacy work and assumed the position of Senior Vise President of Domestic and Sexual Violence Services on January 1, 2021; and
WHEREAS, we mourn Patty Murphy’s passing on October 12, 2022; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Directors, on behalf of the organization, its staff, and the patients, clients and communities served, wishes to honor Patty Murphy for leaving behind a legacy of fierce love in action, generosity of spirit, and tireless advocacy on behalf of the mission of the organization and survivors of sexual assault.
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that Patty Murphy is hereby duly honored by the Board of Directors this 18th day of October 2022. This resolution was duly adopted by the Board of Directors on October 18, 2022.
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