Martha “Lou” Murphy

Martha “Lou” Murphy, age 83 of Prior Lake, formerly of Southwest Minneapolis, passed Friday, January 4, 2019. A visitation will be held Thursday, January 10, 2019 from 4-7PM at Ballard-Sunder Funeral Home, Prior Lake. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, January 11, 2019 at 11AM with a visitation 1-hour prior, all at St. Michael Catholic Church, Prior Lake. Lou will be laid to rest at Credit River Cemetery. Father Tom Walker will preside.

On November 1, 1935 Martha Lou was born to parents, Gustav and Matilda Paulsen in Laurel, Nebraska. She was the youngest of seven children to be raised on the family’s farm.

Following her high school graduation, Lou attended nursing school in Sioux City, Iowa. While at a college party in Iowa City, Lou caught the eye of a young man, Richard “Dick” Murphy. Despite Dick repeatedly saying her name wrong on their first date, the two hit it off. They exchanged wedding vows on May 6, 1961 at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, in Southwest Minneapolis.

Upon moving to Minnesota, Lou began working at Methodist Hospital. When Lou and Dick began their family, she dedicated herself to being a mother. When her children were grown, Lou returned to nursing. She was the director of nursing at The Nile and Cedar Pines nursing homes. Eventually, Lou began working for the State of Minnesota auditing nursing homes.

Much of Lou’s free time was spent volunteering. A member of the Ladies Auxiliary, she helped with events at the Prior Lake VFW. Lou assisted in blood drives at St. Michaels and Scott County’s mobile health clinics. In 2016, she received national recognition for her work with Scott County. Lou was one of four recipients awarded the National Medical Reserve Corp Outstanding Public Health Volunteer Award. Lou was truly selfless. She had a servant’s heart and often asked others, “what do you need,” or “how can I help you?”

Lou cared greatly for her family. She was her children’s biggest supporter. She attended all their sporting events and volunteered at their school. When Dick began coaching tee-ball, Lou was there to assist—often arriving after work in her nursing uniform. In the summers, the family spent countless hours at their cabin on Big Bass Lake. In 2002, Lou and Richard sold the cabin and they retired in Prior Lake. This gave Lou the opportunity to spend more time with her grandchildren. Just as she did with her own children, Lou attended every school event.

Recently, Lou had begun to text. Her family loved receiving her daily morning text—it was sure to include a teasing remark or two. Lou’s kindness extended beyond her family. She was a friend to everyone. Whether it was Mystic Lake or the VFW, Lou greeted her friends with smile, a laugh or a smart aleck comment. Lou was grateful for her neighbors at Creekside Commons.

Lou is loved and missed by her sons, Mark (Diane) Murphy, Todd (Beth) Murphy; daughter, Tara (Steve) Breivik; grandchildren, Jack, Curt, Connor, Mckenna, Kyle Murphy, Sienna Breivik; sisters, Elizabeth Novell and Adele (Warren) Eidsness; many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

Lou is greeted in Heaven by her husband, Richard; parents; siblings, Harold Paulsen, Frances “Bud” Paulsen, Charlie Paulsen, and Madeline Micklis.


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Condolence Messages

  1. My heartfelt sympathies to the Murphy family. I will miss Lou deeply.

  2. I had the honor and privilege of working with Lou for several years as a member of the Scott County Mobile Clinic Health Care team. She was a vibrant member of the team. She will be missed. My condolences to the Murphy family in the loss of their matriarch. Mike Wilcox, MD

  3. So sorry to hear about the passing of Lou. Many great memories of her . You have our sympathy. Miss seeing all of you and the Murphy reunions. Linda and Nick

  4. Darlene & Rich Davidson

    We worked Bingo with Lou at the VFW for many years. She always had a smile on her face. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  5. Aunt Mary and family

    May your mothers angel help you though this time of grief. May she Rest In Peace with your Dad. One great woman, wife, mother and grandmother. Her memories will go on though all of you. My love to all of you.

  6. Maureen Moran-Kalloway

    So many memories of visiting all of you both at your home and the cabin. The laughter, going to the dump to see the bears, and never saw, row boating on the lake and the fishing contests. I’m so happy our families always stayed in touch as we were growing up. The memories are priceless. Your mom always made sure we were well fed and had a story to tell. I loved her laugh, along with uncle Dick’s. Oh the shenanigans of Dad and uncle Dick, but your mom took it all in stride. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  7. My heart and prayers go out to the Murphy family. I have great memories of Lou and always enjoyed our summer vacations together. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Barb Prindle-North Branch, Mn

    I will truly miss Lou! Her humor and negative positive attitude were contagious. We had many laughs together at sportsmen’s club events, bingo, and vfw auxiliary… her grandchildren were the light of her life. God be with you all at this time.

  9. Sending thoughts and prayers to Tara, Steve, Sienna, and the Murphy family. So very sorry to hear of the loss of your Mother and Grandmother. May the wonderful memories you shared as a family bring you comfort and peace during this most difficult time. With sympathy.

  10. Our prayers and sympathies to the Murphy’s. Lou was just a fun person to be around, always laughing. She loved her family and grandchildren. She always made certain that our family was included in the large Murphy family gatherings and no one went away hungry. God bless you.

  11. I miss her already. What a blessing for me to say I knew Lou! All I can say is she is amazing.

  12. Lou was a wonderful and generous friend. When I found out I had Lung cancer she went with me to doctor appointments giving me the best support I could have ever had. On Christmas eve morning I found out the cancer was gone after a year and half, and some major radiation treatments. She was as excited as I was. I only knew her a few years, but it was one of the best relationships I have had. I miss her with my whole heart, but I know her spirit is with me and her family, and everyone she knew and loved. She was and is a blessing.

  13. My sympathy to Lou’ s family.

    I worked with Lou at the Mn Dept. of Health and always appreciated her work ethic and her wisdom. She had a great sense of humor and her kindness knew no bounds.

  14. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends. May you find some comfort in the promise found in Revelation 21: 3-4 and 1 Thessalonians 4:14. Knowing that there is an opportunity to be reunited with loved ones.

  15. Sisters Gloria and Sue(Madeline)

    Lou’s name came up in conversation tonight Thursday April 25, 2019, and I looked her up for my sister, Sue.

    We were sorry to read of Lou’s recent passing, and would like to offer our condolences to her friends and family.

    Sue admired Lou. Lou was instrumental in helping Sue to obtain her College Nursing Education and subsequent LPN position, in spite of Sue’s long history of epilepsy. Sue did the hard work, but the reward was in large part, shared with Lou….a kind and caring woman. Sue retired after 19 years, of working in the Nursing Home industry. During that retirement, she met a Doctor who would change her life. He studied her for a long time, and then changed her life, by performing a brain surgery that would allow her to live to this day, seizure-free. What a gift!

    Tonight, I found out that we have Lou to thank, for also helping to change my Sweet Sister’s life. Lou offered a kind heart and words of encouragement, to my Sister. God has Lou in His arms now. We believe that we will join your Lou someday….in extremely grateful joy.

    Rest in peace, dear Lou, and “thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts” !!
    Gloria and Sue

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