February 20, 1932 – December 14, 2018
Martha Lorraine Murphy was born in Butte, Montana on February 20, 1932 to Harry Fanning and Clara (Peterson) Fanning. However, if you knew her you knew better than to ever call her Martha. She hated that name! Lorraine’s final ETS date was December 14, 2018.
Lorraine did most of her growing up in Butte, with a little time in Spokane, Washington and Oakland, California. She was the sixth of seven children and she adored her siblings. They all remained close, despite their physical distance.
Lorraine joined the United States Marine Corps in 1951 and found her calling. While stationed at Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point, she discovered a lifelong passion for telling people what to do and precisely how to do it! She took great pride in her years of service – always a Marine. After discharge in 1954, Lorraine spent time in New York City singing with a Swing band. She had a lovely voice and a commanding stage presence. Upon returning to Butte, she met and married Dennis Joseph Murphy after only 10 days and their journey began. Their marriage endured many adventures and shenanigans, and ups and downs, starting with the birth of their daughters Kim and Jackie (16 months apart). And surprise, 15 years later, Kelly Jo made her entrance into the Murphy clan. Lorraine worked as a Teller at Metals Banks, before becoming a proud Civil Service worker at the Army Recruiting office, retiring after a 30-year career from Butte MEPS.
Lorraine had countless talents and hobbies. She was an award-winning public speaker being the first woman to win the National Toastmaster award. A talented artist, a card shark who could bluff her way through any hand she was dealt, a singer, and creator of her beautiful handmade cards. But above all, Lorraine had a wicked sense of humor—she loved to laugh! If you could make her laugh, you were in like Flynn. She believed in calling things like she saw them, and she didn’t sugar coat anything. Lorraine especially respected those who could take what she dished out.
Lorraine was preceded in death, by mother Clara Fanning/Norlander, father Harry Fanning, siblings George (Marge) Fanning, Chick (Jeanette) Fanning, Chicky (Sylvia) Fanning, Val (Vern) Ryser, Leonard Stuart, Clara (Don) Macknight/Boman, husband Dennis Murphy, and dear friends Violet Flink, Connie Loughran, and Jean Kohn.
She is survived by sister Marie Stuart, daughters Kim (Dane) Smyre, Jackie, Kelly (Eric) Bates, and her grandchildren her sweetheart angel face Mikayla Bates and her handsome hunk Ryan Bates, numerous nieces and nephews who she loved to pieces, and her best friend Barbara Doty.
The family would like to express our deepest gratitude to the girls at Highland Inn that took such good care of Lorraine. They loved her as we did, and she loved all of them so much. She really is “just peachy” now girls.
We ask that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Toys for Tots.
A celebration of Lorraine’s life will be in Butte (after the snow thaws) June 27, 2019 at the Finlen Hotel.
Lorraine, you leave a legacy of strength and sass. We thank you, we love you, and we will miss you.