Deceased June 11, 2015
Sally Laux Murphy—brainy, beautiful, humorous, radiant, brave friend of our hearts and sister of our lives—died in Grosse Pointe, Mich., on June 11, from complications of multiple sclerosis. Born in Washington, D.C., to mother Linda and father David ’50, she was the adored and adoring sister to Emily and Cynthia, a remarkably dynamic threesome. Sally entered Amherst from Stone Ridge High School in Bethesda, Md. She majored in psychology and political science, loved studying French and dancing with friends. Sally was one of six members of the Laux family to attend Amherst.
After graduating, Sally met the love of her life, Paul Murphy. They were engaged while bicycling across the country on a tandem bicycle. This was a precursor to Paul’s literally carrying Sally on his back while visiting friends so she could continue to lead the life she wanted to live. Cherished daughter Natalie, now a senior at Johns Hopkins University, was born in 1994. Sally was a bursting-with-pride mom and wife.
In spite of increasing physical challenges, Sally lived her life without hesitation. She studied neuropsychology at Drexel, interned with the Johns Hopkins neuroscience department, worked on the National Women’s Health Study and, later, inspired literacy in the Detroit schools as a LitWorld volunteer. Sally wrote Silly Sally Goes to the Zoo, about a feisty, undaunted little girl in a wheelchair who meets entrancing friends. The story was read aloud in Detroit classrooms, much to the delight of the children.
Sally phoned her Amherst friends weekly, strengthening us with her optimism and passion for friendship that lasts a lifetime. Sally was the hub of our wheel, the center radiant star. Sally, beloved to all, lived a life of deep consequence. Her courage, tenacity and generosity will inspire us always. She will never be forgotten.
Written by ’84 classmates Pam Allyn, Diane Flaherty Arena, Elise Brewster, Sally deGozzaldi, Ann Diver, Robin Lansinger, Kate Mehr, Amanda Moretti and Susan Prosnitz