Nancy Murphy

Published 11:46 am Friday, August 27, 2021

Nancy Murphy

Feb. 17, 1936–Aug. 18, 2021


Nancy Ann (Stewart) Murphy, 85, of Ironton, (formerly of Wheeling, West Virginia), passed away Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, at St. John Medical Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Nancy was born Feb. 17, 1936, in Warwood, West Virginia, the third daughter of Oliver and Helen (Neitzel) Stewart.

Nancy was a graduate of Warwood High School where she played the saxophone and was a majorette.

After graduation, she went on to be a majorette for Marshall University, where she met her first husband, James (Jim) Vaughan, who played football for Marshall.

While at Marshall, Nancy joined the Alpha Zi Delta sorority and majored in home economics and art.

She left Marshall early to marry Jim and she became an officer’s wife when Jim joined the U.S. Marines. They moved around the southeast as his station assignments changed.

After Jim’s death in a military training accident, Nancy moved to Ironton to keep her children near their paternal grandparents.

While in Ironton, she became a member of the PTA (president one year) and the Ironton Women’s Club.

Nancy soon met her second husband, Donald (Don) Murphy and together they bought property in the Kitts Hill area and built their family home of 40 plus years.

She raised five children who all graduated from Rock Hill High School and went on to college.

She later returned to Marshall University to complete her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art education, which lead her to become an art teacher for Ironton City Schools for 22 years and for St. Joseph High School for two years.

Although her children settled across the country, she enjoyed spending time with them as often as she could.

Nancy loved animals, especially dogs, horses, and her Eclectus parrot, Molly.

She also enjoyed painting, gardening, pottery making and playing the piano.

She was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Ironton.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, James Charles Vaughan; and her second husband, Donald Harold Murphy, both of Ironton.

She is survived by her five children and their partners, Valerie and Shamus Vaughan-Kelley, of Broken, Arrow, Oklahoma; James (Jay) and Carol Vaughan, of Richmond, Kentucky; Derek and Sarah Vaughan, of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Leah (Vaughan) and Robert Valentine, of Russell, Kentucky; and Colleen (Murphy) and John Griffiths, of Ironton; two sisters, Arden Stewart, of Florida, and Ellen Wagner, of North Carolina; ten grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

To celebrate Nancy’s life, we recommend everyone have a scoop of chocolate ice cream.

The funeral service will be 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, at Phillips Funeral Home, 1004 S. Seventh St., Ironton, with Rev. Sallie C. Schisler officiating.

Visitation for family and friends will be Friday from 11:30 a.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be given to the National Humane Society

To offer the Vaughan-Murphy family condolences, please visit