Caroline Amelia Gustafson Murphy

Memorial services for longtime Cortez resident Caroline Amelia Gustafson Murphy were held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the Cortez Church of Christ.

Caroline was born July 27, 1925, to Gustaf Adolph Gustafson and Harriet Lucile (Wertz) Gustafson in Youngstown, Ohio. She passed away on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, at Vista Grande Inn at the age of 87.

Caroline was the sixth child of eight born to her parents. Her father died when she was only six years old. Caroline, along with her three older brothers and her older sister drove to Santa Rosa, Calif. by themselves in 1933. She always said she had her eighth birthday somewhere in Wyoming. Her mother and two younger sisters came to California later on by train. Caroline had contracted polio before the age of one and when she was 11 she went to San Francisco Children's Hospital for surgery. When the family went to the hospital they had to take the ferry across the bay. While Caroline was in the hospital she watched the Golden Gate Bridge being built. When she left the hospital Caroline got to drive across the brand new bridge.

Caroline married Edmund L. Murphy in Santa Rosa, Calif. in April of 1949. They were married for 52 years and 10 months when he passed away in February of 2002. From 1963 to 1988, Caroline worked for Dr. Merritt; she also helped her husband with his mail route for 10 years after retiring from the medical office. Caroline was a member of the Lewis Friendship Club, belonged to the Pleasant View Church of Christ and was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In her free time, Caroline enjoyed solving crossword puzzles, completing jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, listening to music and watching birds.

Surviving Caroline are her children, Loretta Murphy of Pleasant View, Ed Murphy Jr. and wife Ethel of Pleasant View, Dale Murphy and wife Patsy of Dolores, and Sharon Baxstrom and husband Robert of Dolores; five grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren, with one on the way; three great-great-grandchildren; two sisters; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Caroline was preceded in death by her parents; by her husband, Edmund L. Murphy; and by two sisters and three brothers.

Memorial contributions may be made in Caroline's name to the Manualito Children's Home in Gallup N.M. Caroline told her family, "Don't have a big service and all you have to say is she was a Christian and she loved her family dearly."

Arrangements are being made through Ertel Funeral Home. For further information or to send condolences, log on to and click on the obituary section.