Mary Valarie Murphy

December 17th, 1945October 9th, 2020

Valarie Murphy passed away on Friday, October 9, 2020 surrounded by her children and her husband of forty-eight years, Dick Murphy.  Val was born on December 17, 1945 in Kemmerer, Wyoming, the only daughter of Mary Valarie Pollard and Robert William Pollard.  She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers, Richard Pollard and Robert Pollard.

Before being sidelined by one of life’s two inevitabilities (and just in time to avoid having to file her taxes ever again), Valarie took joy in her children, grandchildren, and trolling the unwary on Facebook. 

Dick and Val met in St. Louis, Missouri in 1972 through a mutual friend.  Upon meeting, Dick was struck by the petite, attractive lady who was (he assumed) one of his friend’s many girlfriends.  Val noted that tall, dark, and handsome Dick gave the friend a peck on the lips and assumed he was a friend of Dorothy.  As it turned out, both their initial impressions were wrong.  Dick drove Val back to Wyoming and five months later, on September 22, 1972, they were married.

Always striving for integrity, Val informed Dick early that her family was not wealthy, and he better get used to it or leave.  Their brief courtship had not given Dick time to tell Val that his home didn’t have indoor plumbing until he was in high school. 

An economist by education and a fighter by nature, Val learned to do literally everything – much of it, self-taught.  She built three houses, serving as general contractor, financial controller, and grout expert.  She invested in shady tax shelters in the 1980s (her kids are pretty sure the statute of limitations has run on that).  She sewed her daughter’s wedding dress – several times, in fact (including beading a test run), to make sure it was just right.  She beat her son at computer games until, frustrated, he hacked the game to give himself an unbeatable high score.  While Val chose to stay at home to raise her children, her hard work and intelligence were the backbone upon which the entire family was built.  She could do anything she put her mind to, and her mind was beautiful.

In spite of their modest beginnings, Dick and Val built a life together that resulted in five children – Rick Murphy, John Murphy, Amber (Roger) Chang, Lindsay (Bill) Smith, and Morgan (Derek) Neslund.  She was the adoring grandmother to Keira, Nayah, Kalden, Forest, Barrett, Reagan, Jack, and Rory.

Valarie was a member of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, and loved attending Sunday services with Barrett.  Her greatest joy was that her children learned to love one another, and to finally stop their damned bickering.  She was grateful that they didn’t actually kill one another, as she suggested they do from time to time.

Val’s loss will leave a hole in the hearts of many.  She touched lives through her political campaigning, religious identity, wicked wit, and soft heart.  She took in numerous stray animals, and almost as many stray people. 

In lieu of flowers, Val appreciates donations to ILADS, the International Lyme & Associated Disease Society; to AAPS, the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons; or to a Tea Party group (she hadn’t updated her wishes in a while).


Visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 14th at Darrell Howe Mortuary from 4pm - 6pm. A maxiumum of 50 people will be allowed in the building at one time. We ask that everyone please wear a mask while in the building and maintain social distancing guidleines. We appreciate your understanding.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, October 15th at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Broomfield beginning at 10am. Please check with the church for any restrictions they may have due to the coronavirus. 

Valarie will be laid to rest during a private family ceremony at Coal Creek Cemetery.


Coal Creek Cemetery, Louisville, CO | Map


Darrell Howe Mortuary | Map


Holy Trinity Anglican Church | Map


Murphy family, I adored Val so very much. She was such an incredible woman who came into my life like a fairy godmother. She had this amazing doctor she convinced me that I just had to see. She literally saved my life by sending me to him and over the years I enjoyed our chats. She was there for me during many tough times, and I for her. Although I never got to meet her in person, I went to high school with her daughter Morgan. Morgan is such an phenomenal person and I know Val is always going to be looking down on her and be so proud of everything she does in life along with the rest of her kids. Dick, your wife was one amazing lady. My prayers and thoughts are with you guys.
My deepest Sympathy to the whole Murphy family! Unfortunately I have never met Valarie but the boys always talked about her and your wonderful family! This is a very difficult time for all of you, but, she will look down from above on her beloved family and be your guardian Angel! Thank you for always having been there for my boys! Rest in Peace, dearest Valarie, From Ireland to the Murphy Family Ursula McIntyre ( Felgentreff)
I am so sorry. I didn't get it. I am shocked. Too young, too soon. She will be missed. She was kind to me...
We are so sorry to hear that Valarie died. She has always been a welcoming, loving, fiercely dedicated and funny friend/mom figure for us. When life dealt tough hands, Valarie was a safety net. She modeled what being a good mother looks like- as is evidenced by the true acceptance and friendships so prevalent in your beautiful family. We wish we could take away your pain. Alas, we cannot. But we are here for all of you as you navigate a new reality. Your mom (grandmother/wife) was a special gift to this earth. Her absence will be felt forever and we share in your palpable sadness. With Love, Alyssa & Brian Neu (& family)
Dearest Murphy family, My heart and tears are with you as you navigate this new reality together. I am sad not to be able to attend the service for Valarie. Despite our drastically opposing political views, Val and I were friends for over forty years and when we met up from time to time for afternoon tea, our conversation mostly centered on family and children, not politics. I always enjoyed Val’s sense of humor, her fierce pride in her family and admired her skill with a needle as well as carpentry tools. Rachel remembers fondly some sleep overs at your house when she was a teenager. I shall miss this good woman and friend. Brenda
Sending my condolences to the Murphy family. I have fond memories of my time with Val when we worked together to return academic excellence to the Boulder Valley schools.
My condolences to the family. I grew up and went to school with Bob, Richard and Val. A better family you could not ask for All three of those kids were as intelligent as could be and didn’t let anything hold them back. Val will always hold a special place in my life. All three were taken before their time.