Dorothy Josephine, named after her maternal grandmother, Josephine Schauer Peternel, passed away on October 18, 2019.  She was born on January 10, 1936 in Gallup, NM.  She was the sixth of ten children born to James Edward and Clara Peternel Murphy.  She attended Sacred Heart Grade School and Cathedral High School in Gallup, graduating as valedictorian of her class in 1954.

She left Gallup in September 1954 to attend Marymount College in Salina, KS, graduating in 1958 with a BA in Commerce and Economics.  She spent the next 42 years on faculty at Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park, KS.  She also attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff over several summers completing her MA in Business Education in 1971.

Dorothy taught typing and several business courses for 43 years.  She was devoted to her students often helping them find jobs to start their careers.  She was also dedicated to Bishop Miege and all their programs working tirelessly on many projects, including numerous homecomings and the annual auction.  Dorothy was also alumni director for many years.  If there was ever a question about an alum, the answer was always “ask Dorothy”.  With her dedication and tireless work ethic, Dorothy was a true role model for her many students and colleagues.  Bishop Miege was truly blessed to have her for so many years.

Her fondest childhood memories included her time spent as varsity cheerleader at Cathedral High School in Gallup, 1952-1954.  Her interest and love for cheerleading never waned.  She spent years during her teaching career at Bishop Miege High School coaching cheerleaders and moderating pep club activities in addition to her teaching responsibilities.

She married Ralph on March 18th, 1997, at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Kansas City, MO.  Home and family were her major life interests.  When she and Ralph acquired their home in Leawood, KS, she immediately set to work creating the home of her dreams.

She loved living in a large multi-generational Irish Catholic American family and made it her responsibility to keep in touch and informed about family information and activities.  She was never too busy to talk on the phone with family and was always the first to know what was going on in the lives of family and friends.

She was pre-deceased by her parents, James and Clara Murphy, siblings Jimmy, Bill, Larry, Geraldine, Margaret Murphy and Mary Kaye Blickenderfer.  She is survived by her husband Ralph, Leawood, KS, and three sisters; Patricia Tomljanovich of El Paso, TX, Barbara Dawes of Manhattan, KS and Frances Coody and husband, Carl, of Edmond, OK.

Services will be held on November 1st at St. Elizabeth Parish 2 E 75th St, Kansas City, MO 64114.  Visitation will be 9am-10am, Memorial Mass 10am-11am, Luncheon 11am-12:30pm with the burial to follow at the National Cemetery in Leavenworth, KS.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Dorothy Murphy Spezze Scholarship Fund at Bishop Miege High School 5041 Reinhardt Dr, Roeland Park, KS  66205.  Assistance by Funeral Advocates, LLC.

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