Rose Anne “Rosie” Murphy

Jan. 24, 1949-Aug. 21, 2016

Rose Anne “Rosie” Murphy, 67, died Aug. 21, 2016, in Raheny, Ireland.

“Rosie Murphy was a hell of a woman, for just one woman,” her family said.

Born Rose Anne Malone in Barry, Vermont on Jan. 24, 1949, Rosie lived in Florida before moving to Alaska at age 9. There she trained in dance at the Master Dance Studio, in critical thinking by her politically active parents, Frank and Cate Malone, and in the gentle art of family discussion (i.e., disagreeing with one another at the tops of their lungs, but without hard feelings) by her brothers Hugh and Patrick, and her sister Eileen.

She met her husband Tom Murphy at Alaska Methodist University in Anchorage and left school to return to Kenai soon after they married. She touched the lives of hundreds of dance students at the Master Dance Studio and many others performers with her choreography for the Peninsula Dancers, Pier One Theatre, the Kenai Performers and Kenai High School productions. She was an accomplished seamstress and costumer designer as well as being a dancer, actor and choreographer.

In a spirited Letters to the Editor debate in the Peninsula Clarion, Rosie was once accused of being a left-leaning liberal feminist, a term she used with pleasure for the rest of her life. She raised her daughters, Catie and Deirdre, with such strength and conviction in their own abilities that she eventually found herself obliged to tell them that when she’d said they could do anything, she hadn’t meant they needed to do everything.

Rosie was a mother figure to innumerable people and imparted wit, wisdom and exasperation to them all with equal ease. On one occasion her oldest grandson had done something at her command rather than at his mother’s. He explained his willingness to do as Grandma asked by saying to his mother, “Well, your mother is more formidable than mine.”

Of her grandsons, Rosie often related the story about her mother-in-law once saying, “The thing is, my grandchildren really are better-looking than everyone else’s!”, which Rosie found to be very funny indeed — especially when she concluded her own grandsons were, in fact, better-looking than everybody else’s.

In 2005 she and her husband, her two daughters and their families moved to Ireland, the country where her father and all her mother’s and father’s ancestors were born. She loved Ireland and had lived in there for 11 years at the time of her death.

Rosie’s parents and brother Hugh preceded her in death. She is survived by Tom, her husband of 48 years; her daughters, Catie and Deirdre; her grandsons, Breic, Seirid and Henry; her sister and brother-in-law Eileen and Peter; her sister-in-law Deb; her brother Patrick; her sons-in-law Ted Lee and Gavin Gleeson, and many beloved nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to the Rosie Murphy Scholarship Fund at the Encore Dance Academy in Kenai, Alaska. Contributions can be made to the Rosie Murphy Dance Fund at First National Bank Alaska, account #70755533/routing #5002000025, or through PAYPAL via


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