Delphia H. Murphy, a former clerk in the civil assignment office of the Baltimore Circuit Court, died Saturday of a heart ailment at Anne Arundel Medical Center. She was 78.
Mrs. Murphy, who had lived in Arbutus for the past few years, was keenly interested in current events, reading the daily newspaper from cover to cover and engaging in lively debates about the world's problems.
"She was wonderfully animated," said her son Timothy D. Murphy, an associate judge of Baltimore District Court.
"She was one of those people who had a critique, a twinkle in her eye and an opinion about almost every topic. It was easy to have a conversation about current affairs with my mother because she was a step ahead of everybody."
She was born in Baltimore and raised in Hampden, an only child who attended public grade school and graduated from Eastern High School.
After high school, she worked as a secretary for a small medical office in Baltimore. There, she met her future husband, Lawrence A. Murphy, a personnel officer for a shipbuilding company who took an injured worker to the doctor's office one day.
The two were married for 53 years. Mr. Murphy, who became the last elected clerk of the city criminal court, passed away almost four years ago.
A working mother somewhat before her time, Mrs. Murphy held several jobs while raising three children.
She worked in sales for a jewelry wholesaler. Later, after her children were grown, she spent eight years in the Circuit Court office that schedules civil cases.
In 1983, she declared herself a candidate for mayor but withdrew two weeks later.
Before moving to Arbutus, she lived in West Baltimore for about 50 years.
Mrs. Murphy remained physically active until she became ill recently. She played golf, swam frequently and bowled. Earlier, she had coached a girls basketball team.
She was an active member of Our Lady of Victory Parish on Wilkens Avenue, where she belonged to the Women's Sodality.
A funeral will be held at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow at St. John Neumann's Church, 620 Bestgate Road, Annapolis.
She is also survived by another son, Lawrence P. Murphy of Pleasonton, Calif.; her daughter, Sharon Sambuco of Sherwood Forest in Anne Arundel County; and five grandchildren.