Janet M. (Murphy) Withington

August 14, 1938 ~ May 6, 2019 (age 80)

Janet Mary (Murphy) Withington, 80, died peacefully Monday, May 6, 2019 surrounded by her loving family. Formerly of Wilbraham, she was born in Boston on August 14, 1938 the youngest daughter of the late Edward and Mae (Cleary) Murphy. She is survived by her husband William (Bill) Withington, and her three children: Sarah (Patrick) Donnelly; William Withington, Jr. (Tamera); Susan (Jeffery) Martin; and her brother Edward (Beverly) Murphy; many nieces and nephews; and her beloved seven grandchildren, Ashley, Devan, Morgan, Zachary, Olivia, Luke, and Ella Grace. She was predeceased by her sisters, Ann Doreen George and Barbara Drummey.  Janet had a passion for learning her entire life and a calling to be a teacher. She attended Girls Latin School in Boston, riding the streetcars to school each day. She graduated in 1960 from Newton College of the Sacred Heart and received her Master of Education the following year from State College at Boston. She first taught in Roxbury, then Wayland; eventually teaching at St. John the Baptist School in Ludlow, where she served for 20 years. Janet helped many students beyond the classroom with life lessons and often shared stories of “her kids” with her family. She was a stickler for grammar and the English language and frequently admonished her children to “speak the King’s language!” Always on the lookout for the underdog, Janet exemplified the Golden Rule in life. She could “get her Irish up” when arguing on behalf of things she felt strongly about, especially politics. Never would a Murphy Thanksgiving go by without a good debate. She was an avid reader and particularly loved reading a good book on the beach in Falmouth. In later life, Janet, accompanied by her dedicated husband, Bill, enjoyed cheering on her grandchildren at their sporting events and feeding too many treats to her granddog, Max. Mom: we have read this essay over and over and think it’s perfect; but, we are certain it still needs your editing! The funeral will be held Friday at 10 AM from Wilbraham Funeral Home, 2551 Boston Rd., Wilbraham, to a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 11 AM at St. Cecilia’s Church, 42 Main St., Wilbraham. Calling hours will be Thursday from 4-7 PM at Wilbraham Funeral Home. Burial will be private. Donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Assn., 309 Waverley Oaks Rd., Waltham, MA 02452.

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