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Obituary: Joan Elizabeth Murphy (Petroski), 78

Jan 16, 2018 07:23AM ● By Theresa Gilman

Joan Elizabeth Murphy (Petroski)

White, dazzling white, a dress that was starched to perfection. This dress was complemented by a unique white cap, a kind of medical tiara. And the shoes, white and thick soled to accommodate the miles and miles of corridors a nurse would walk to expertly attend to her patients. The special nurse who wore this uniform for 40 years was Joan Elizabeth Murphy (Petroski). Joan, age 78, died peacefully on January 11, 2018. Surely she heard the loving goodbyes said by those around her; husband Bob, son Bobby and daughter-in-law Christine.

Joan was born September 19, 1939, the first child of John and Josephine Petroski (Kozak). Her parents were first generation Polish Americans. Joan was an accomplished daughter of her parents. At Dracut High School (then in the Greenmont Avenue building) she excelled in academics and with her lovely figure, as an energetic cheerleader. With all this going for her, Joan caught the eye of an older student and Korean War Marine veteran, Bob Murphy. On their second date they went out for ice cream at Canney’s Dairy. The rest is history. They married on October 31, 1959.

Joan’s career in nursing was exemplary. She worked at St. John’s Hospital in Lowell. She loved her family: husband, sons and their spouses, grandchildren and her 5 siblings. As the oldest child she willingly embraced the role of directive queen. When Joan spoke her sibs listened. Joan was a voracious reader. She enjoyed vacations in NH and St Augustine Florida. A trip to Ireland with Bob was a special highlight. Together she and Bob hosted many wonderful family get togethers. Joan never turned down a good lobster or well mixed whiskey Manhattan.

Those who will always keep Joan in loving memory are her husband Robert C. Murphy, her sons Robert C. Murphy, Jr. and spouse Christine, John (Jay) Murphy and his spouse Markis Newman, Christopher Murphy. Joan’s siblings are Janice Crosby, Steven Petroski and his spouse Blanche, Glen Petroski, Gail Bourque and her spouse James. Her youngest Joseph (Bo) Petroski predeceased her. Grandchildren are Renee Murphy, Meagan and Mallorie Murphy and Jacob and Erin Rose Murphy. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

ARRANGEMENTS:  were entrusted to the Dracut Funeral Home, 2159 Lakeview Avenue , Dracut, Ma. Her burial will take place in the Spring. For directions, or to leave an online condolence, story, or message, please visit or find us on Facebook under “Dracut Funeral Home.”
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