Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Amy S. Murphy

September 28, 1957 - April 23, 2024
Kalamazoo, MI



Friday, April 26, 2024
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Nazareth Center
2929 Nazareth Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49048


Friday, May 3, 2024
11:00 AM EDT
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church
1150 W. Centre Ave.
Portage, MI 49024


Friday, May 3, 2024
12:00 PM EDT
St Catherine of Siena - Marion Hall


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


When reflecting on the life of Amy Murphy, it is easy to see both her unwavering strength and her unconditional love for her family. She faced challenges head-on with a spirit of fierce determination, and she was always willing to go above and beyond to serve others. Nothing brought Amy greater joy than spending time with her loved ones, no matter how simple the moments. Her solid work ethic formed the foundation of her life, and she poured her heart and soul into all that she did. Dearly loved, Amy will be forever missed by those who knew her best.

The late 1950s are remembered as a decade of great social revolution and change in the United States. The civil rights movement was in full swing, and though the country was divided, it was also experiencing an economic boom and many advancements in everyday life. It was during this exciting time that Raymond and Nancy (Fitzgerald) DeBacker were eagerly anticipating the arrival of their third child. On September 28, 1957, their wait was over, and they welcomed their daughter, Amy, into the world.

Growing up, Amy was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. Since her father was in the United States Navy, Amy was raised in Wilmette near the naval base alongside her three siblings, Mary, Nancy, and Johnny. The DeBacker family were devout Catholics. Amy attended Catholic Schools with aspirations of becoming a nun, graduating from Glenbrook South High School. She was an excellent student and nurtured her artistic talents from a young age. Amy was a free spirit who loved adventure. She once hitchhiked across the country with her boyfriend, and the two popped heads off of shrimp in Key West, picked blueberries in Maine, and slept on the beach in California.

All who knew Amy can surely agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she treasured her family above all else. She met and married a man named Charles Murawski, and she was overjoyed to welcome her beloved son, Christopher, into her heart. After her marriage to Charles eventually ended, Amy worked tirelessly to raise and support Chris. She was her son’s biggest cheerleader, no matter what, and she always believed in him. Later on, Amy was thrilled to become a grandmother. She also became an aunt to several nieces and nephews, and she took pride in being involved in their lives in whatever ways she could. Amy never gave up on those she cared about.

Later in life, Amy once again found love with Sean. The two were first introduced through Sean’s father, who volunteered with Amy at the Alano Club in Chicago. Amy and Sean dated for two years, and during that time, their relationship continued to blossom and grow. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Amy and Sean were married on January 9, 1993, at City Hall in Chicago. With their marriage, Amy was welcomed into the large Murphy family as one of their own. She and Sean first lived in Chicago, then lived in Vermont for a time before settling down in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to be closer to family.

Amy was always willing to work hard when it came to providing for herself and those who depended on her. She worked as a waitress while raising her son, Chris. Amy then pursued further education to be an EMT, a LPN, and finally an RN, following in the footsteps of her mother and sisters. She spent much of her career working in emergency rooms as a nurse, and she thrived in those environments where she could help people. Amy was very knowledgeable and smart, and she was never afraid to speak up on behalf of a patient. While living in Vermont, she worked as a rehab nurse. Amy then worked as a para-pro at Portage Transportation, caring for children that needed extra help. Her career was one of great service and tender care.

Amy was constantly searching for her next adventure, and she pursued many hobbies to stay busy in her free time. She and Sean enjoyed traveling around the country and the world, whether that be by car, plane, or motorcycle. Amy enjoyed baking, and she was an avid reader. Her favorite author was Stephen King. Amy was a true artist and an excellent painter. She was even able to show and sell several of her pastel still-lifes and portraits. Amy played the piano and liked musicians such as James Taylor, John Denver, Janice Joplin, and Gordon Lightfoot. She enjoyed popcorn and tea, and she was well known for her two sayings, “the gorier the better” and “hit the reset button.” Amy rescued old dogs, showering them with care and love. She would ask which dog had been at the shelter the longest, and she would bring those ones home to be a part of her family. Amy was 38 years sober, and she volunteered her time to sponsor many others embarking on the journey of sobriety.

As family and friends can certainly attest, Amy Murphy truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times. A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Amy was a friend to many and beloved by all. She was never afraid to speak her mind, and her heart of service allowed her to welcome anyone and everyone with open arms. Though she will be deeply missed, Amy leaves behind a priceless legacy of selflessness and love that her family will be proud to carry on in her footsteps.

Amy Murphy of Kalamazoo, age 66, died on April 23, 2024. Cremation has taken place. A gathering for Amy will take place at Nazareth Place on Friday, April 26 from 10-11 AM. Mass will be held Friday, May 3, at 11 AM at St. Catherine's of Siena Catholic Church. Please visit Amy's webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and to sign his guestbook. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.