ROCHELLE — Alcie Vernice Murphy, 83 years, 11 months and 29 days, was granted her wish to go home to heaven to be with her Lord and family members on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at the Rochelle Community Hospital. She was saved and baptized by the late Pastor Robert Miller, at Hillcrest Baptist Church with Baptist her choice of religion.
Alcie was born on Nov. 18, 1937 in Vanndale, Arkansas, the daughter of Elbert and Minnie Robertson. She moved to Illinois in the late 1950s and resided there until her death. She was known as “Granny” to her grandchildren, “Al” or “Alvy” to her late husband, James and “Fuzzy” to some family members.
On Feb. 23, 1960, she married James E. Murphy and they enjoyed 53 years of marriage until his death on Aug. 5, 2013. Three children were born to them, Ricky, Janice and Michael Murphy. With Alcie’s first husband, the late Bobby Samples, they were blessed with one child, Brenda. Alcie and her second ex-husband, John Cleveland, were blessed with three children, Barbara, Johnny and Alice Lawrence.
Alcie was preceded in death by her husband, James Murphy, first husband, Bobby Samples and second husband, John Cleveland. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her mother and father in-laws, Mae and Charley Murphy; son, Michael Murphy; siblings: Nellie Smith, Mary Meier, Sandra Wilton, Marlin, Art and Ray Robertson; infant siblings: Viola and Alvin Robertson; nieces; Wanda Cooksey and Janell Smith; nephews: Chester Sanders, Thomas Robertson, Denny Smith and Leroy Caldwell; brother-in-law, Robert Smith and sisters-in-law: Judy and Ruth Robertson.
Alcie is survived by daughters: Brenda (Gary) Williams, Alice Louis, Barbara Dickens and Janice Gunning; sons: Ricky Murphy and Johnny Lawrence; multiple grandchildren including: Daniel (Christi) Batsch, Michelle (Tim) Dotter, Zachary and Ashley Gunning, Angel, Mikey, Justin and Amanda Murphy, Brandi and Elizabeth Murphy, Kimberly, Josh, Larry and others; multiple great grandchildren: Christin Batsch, Dusti (Tristan) Sturtz, Kaitlyn Mcloud, Elizabeth and Devin Montelongo, Garrett Dotter, Samantha, Jessica and others; multiple great great grandchildren: Michael, Laila and Kanoa Montelongo, Breanna Sturtz and baby Sturtz due in February and others; numerous nieces and nephews and many friends.
Alcie was a stay-at-home wife and mother. She and James loved to grow flower and vegetable gardens. She enjoyed eating and canning the vegetables. She loved flowers of any color and size. The two of them cut tons of wood to burn in their wood stoves for heat and also for making wood furniture and yard ornaments. She had a great passion for going to thrift stores and garage sales, often smiling as she said, “I don’t need this but I gotta have it.” Her hobbies included small crafts, picking and canning fresh asparagus and home remodeling until health issues arose. Alcie loved crayons, colored pencils and coloring books very much. She was quite often found with her coloring items in hand and at times fell asleep holding something she was coloring. She also enjoyed reading various things.
Alcie and Brenda were estranged most of Brenda’s life. The last few years, Brenda and Gary have been helping Alcie as much as Brenda’s own health and disabilities would allow her. Brenda and Alcie attempted to be daughter and mother and found themselves doing things together for the first time ever, such as decorating Christmas trees, dying Easter eggs, small crafts, one-day camping, freezing fresh corn, short country drives and even went fishing once, which was hilarious. But above all, they tried to forgive, forget and love – even though there were tons of hurdles, some were solved and some were not.
Old classic country and gospel were her choice of music. She enjoyed family members and friends getting together to sing and play music. Going out to eat was a real favorite, biscuits and gravy, vanilla ice cream, tacos and fried chicken were her foods of choice. Her favorite food was chicken and dumplings and berry pie both made from scratch by Brenda. She requested these a lot.
Throughout her growing up and marriage years to James, country living was at the top of her list. She loved her privacy so wooded or grassy distant areas were preferred along with old houses. She enjoyed spending time with her family. Alcie was a very stubborn and determined lady that wanted things her way, going out of the way to accomplish it but she had a very loving side as well. She would often say in a strong voice followed by a laugh, “Well, y’all know how I am. When I want something I want it now and how I want it. Been this way all my life and too old to change now.” Mom…gone but not forgotten! R.I.P.! Love you!
The visitation will be from 11-1 p.m., Friday, Nov. 19 at the Unger-Horner Funeral Home, 400 N. 6th St., Rochelle. The funeral service will follow at 1 p.m. with Pastor Duane Boehm officiating. Burial is at the Lawnridge Cemetery in Rochelle. Memorials may be made to the family. Visit www.ungerhorner.com to sign the online guest book.