Eleanor Langton Murphy (born Eleanor Theresa Langton) died on December 28, 2022 at the Grand Islander nursing home. She was 95 years old. Born in Providence, Rhode Island on November 8, 1927, she was predeceased by her parents, Mary (Waters), and Joseph T. Langton and her husband, William C Murphy Sr. Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend, Eleanor lived a long, rich and full life.

As a child, Eleanor lived on the East Side of Providence, moving to Newport in 1935 when her father took a job at the Newport Naval Torpedo Station. After attending Newport elementary schools, she graduated from Saint Catherine’s Academy where, among other things, she was selected “Class Comic” in her senior year. She was also the author of the class of 1944 Class Prophecy, writing an imaginative essay that predicted the invention of a precursor to the iPhone -the “Spaco Photo Phone”.

After graduating from Saint Catherine Academy, she attended our Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts. She left college in her junior year to marry the love of her life, Bill Murphy. Together, Bill and she raised eight children: Kathleen, William Jr, Mary Ann, Michael, Patricia, Sandra, John, and Matthew.

While expecting her youngest child, Eleanor decided to return to college. In 1966, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Salve Regina University and in 1971 completed her Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling at Rhode Island College. For 25 years, she was an elementary school guidance counselor for the Middletown school system, where she was part of the Educational Assessment Team, helping to provide strong interdisciplinary educational plans for students with special needs. After her retirement from the school system, she worked as a tour guide for the Preservation Society of Newport County, retiring when she was well into her eighties. She could often be seen in the summer, leading a two hour walking tour down Bellevue, providing lively and accurate descriptions of the history and architecture of each house on “the Avenue”.

Hers was a life of curiosity and learning. She was a member of the Circle of Scholars program at her alma mater where she explored a wide variety of subjects including literature, history, science, music, art and public affairs. She took art lessons at the Newport Art Association, played the piano, was an avid bridge player and a devoted Red Sox fan. Nothing pleased her more than a good book and a strong Manhattan prepared by her favorite bartender at La Forge.

Despite her fear of flying, Eleanor traveled extensively. To prepare for an upcoming trip, she would study for months, learning the history and culture of each country she would visit. Her travel diaries and photo journals are a roadmap of her many adventures – from the Blarney Stone in Ireland to the vineyards of Tuscany, the clear blue waters of the Aegean Sea to the gilded halls of the Hermitage in Russia.

Eleanor was an active member of St. Mary’s Parish. She served on many parish committees and on the Parish Council. She coordinated the St Mary’s summer CCD program there for many years. She was a child advocate for CASA, a Voice of America volunteer and an active member of the Newport Holiday for Senior Citizens Committee.

Eleanor is survived by her four daughters: Kathleen Batchelor-Murphy, Mary Ann Wiedenhofer (Larry), Patricia Bergschneider (Sepp), Sandra Murphy (Charles Loeb), and her four sons, William C. Murphy Jr. (Kathy), Michael Langton Murphy (Peggy), John J Murphy (Monica), and Matthew J Murphy (Jennifer). She was the proud grandmother of Kevin and Niki Murphy (and great grandmother to Tyler and Samantha) and Maureen and Jay McDaniel (and great grandmother to Michael), Jennifer and Amelia ( Sven Moller) Batchelor, Elizabeth ( Emily Matthews), and Andrew (Evangeline Vickery) Wiedenhofer, Aidan, Martin, (Kyla Foster), Liam, and Connor ( Michael Marketos) Bergschneider, and Anne (Joshua Benmergui) and William Loeb, Ryan and Claire Murphy, and Brendan, Sean, Sarah, and Caitlin Murphy.

Visiting hours are planned on Thursday, January 5 from 4-7 at Memorial Funeral Home on Broadway in Newport. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 am in St. Mary’s Church, Spring St. Newport, on Friday, January 6, with burial following at St. Columba’s Cemetery in Middletown.

The family extends a special thank you to the hospice nurses who tended our mother so lovingly in her final days. If you wish, contributions
may be made in Eleanor’s memory to Hospice Care of Rhode Island, Catholic Charities, or a charity of your choice.