Carol Murphy: 'You Could Run, Win, and Still Be Wife and Mother'
Those who worked with former legislator said they will miss her powerful presence, hearty laugh and engaging stories.
Those who worked with Carol Murphy, the former Morris County freeholder, District 26 assemblywoman and Board of Public Utilities commissioner who died Wednesday at the age of 78, said they will miss her powerful presence, hearty laugh and engaging stories.
Murphy was a "leader among leaders," a champion for people in need and a valuable mentor who was a public servant for more than two decades, friends said.
Dick Stern, who served with Murphy on the Montville Township Planning Board and Township Committee, where she first served as a public official and became the first woman to serve on the town governing body, said she kept the board in line.
"She was truly one of a kind!" he said. "Above all, a friend."
Leanna Brown, Former State Senator
For decades Carol was a powerful presence in Morris County and State politics working for the good of her constituents, whether as an elected official or a BPU commissioner, and her party. With her husband Len she enjoyed attending the many obligatory pancake breakfasts and beefsteak dinners. Her hearty laugh eased tensions and helped make possible solutions to complex problems. Carol exemplified the best in public service.
Robert L. Parker, Executive Director, NewBridge Services
I loved Carol. She was a huge supporter of bringing balance to people's lives—a mission shared by NewBridge Services. She was an amazing person who always had time to listen and lead in a balanced way. She was a leader among leaders, a person ahead of her time.
I will miss her energy, drive, and, mostly her compassion. ... Carol was a champion among us for those in need. She was always interested and caring for those with special needs. She will be missed!
Blair Schleicher Bravo, Executive Director, Morris Habitat for Humanity
What comes to mind about Carol—classy woman. True to herself, had moral values that she brought to her work and in anything she did. A mentor for women entering into the political arena. A true public servant—always had the best interests of the public in mind—never out for political gain.
I met Carol in the early '80s ... I was chairing the phone bank for the Republican County Committee then. It was one of my first ventures into politics and, of course, I was very green. I remember she sort of took me under her wing and mentored me on the best way to run the phone bank. She didn't just dismiss that I was young and inexperienced. I had to give the candidates some important feedback that was integral to the race that I knew they wouldn't want to hear. Carol counseled me to be honest and straightforward, but balance the information with ways to fix the problem. Sound advice that I try to use in my life.
Carol could always be counted among those women who mentored other women in the political arena. Not easy, especially in the earlier '80s when women were not running for political office. She encouraged, gave advice, helped out in any way she could to let women know that, yes, you could run, you could win and you can still be wife, mother, etc.