Neva Jean (Barnes) Murphy
Neva Jean (Barnes) Murphy was born August 30, 1937 to Charles ‘Ike’ and Gladys (Lane) Barnes at the Rock County Hospital in Bassett, NE. She was born weighing only 2 lbs. 14 oz. which was her life’s first big hurdle. Growing up, she was involved in Elkhorn Valley 4-H Club. She showed beef and was involved in cooking, canning and sewing. She was Rock County Fair Queen in 1955. Neva was awarded the Federal Cartridge Cooperation trip to conservation in Chadron in 1953 and 1954. She graduated from Rock County High School in May 1955 and began teaching that fall. Hers was the last class that was able to teach right out of high school.
Neva married Donald L. Murphy at the United Methodist Church in Bassett on January 1, 1959, after he was honorably discharged from the Army on November 25, 1958, following a tour of duty in Korea. They made their first home seven miles west of Sargent, NE and were blessed with two children, Bryan Kent and Brenda Kay. In 1961, they purchased a house in Sargent. She continued to teach school in Custer, Loup and Garfield Counties.
In 1970, Neva received her Ham radio license WAØZCM. In 1975, the Murphy family moved to Camp Rockhaven four miles east of Gothenburg for the next 13 years. Neva then became the lay pastor and served the churches in Gothenburg and Ogallala. In 1993, she resigned from the Ogallala church due to her diagnosis of breast cancer. After several years and a courageous battle, she took on the job as pastor at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Ainsworth, NE. October 8, 2006 was a special day for Neva when she was ordained as pastor in the Church of God. She retired from the church in 2015. Neva, a cancer survivor, served as a Sandhills Cancer Fund board member. She enjoyed quilting, crafting and attending tractor pulls with her family. Neva passed away November 21, 2016 at the Rock County Hospital in Bassett.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother Lloyd Barnes; 17 day old infant brother Charles Kay; and parents-in-law Dan and Bessie (Rogers) Murphy.
She is survived by her husband, Don of Ainsworth, NE; son, Bryan (Juliene) Murphy of Ainsworth, NE; daughter, Brenda (Mark) Knight of Ord, NE; six grandchildren, Ashley Victoria Murphy, Tanner Charles Don Knight, Jordyn Jean Knight, Marley Juliene Murphy, Hayley Clarissa Murphy and Brandt Kaleb Murphy; one great grandson Teague Bryan Braun; sisters, O’Dean Coleman of Aurora, NE, Erva (Bart) Piersol of Farnam, NE and Susan Blattner of Bassett, NE; brother-in-law, Danny (Ellen) Murphy of Goddard, KS; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held at the Congregational United of Church in Christ in Ainsworth, NE at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 26, 2016. Graveside services followed at 2:30 p.m. at Madison Square Cemetery west of Taylor, NE. Memorials may be made in care of the family to support the Heifer Project. Holmes Funeral Home of Valentine was entrusted with the arrangements. Online guestbook at www.HolmesFH.com.