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LaVonne Emma "Tiny" Murphy

 On April 29, 2020, LaVonne Emma Murphy enjoyed her first sunrise in heaven. She died at the StoryPoint Senior Living Center in Waterville, Ohio. LaVonne was born on September 15, 1917, to Clarence and Marian (Rathbun) Scherf in Fremont, Ohio. After graduating from Fremont Ross High School, she worked for the Montgomery Ward store where she met her husband, John R. Murphy. He fondly nicknamed her Tiny, and because of her small stature, it became the name that was used by family and close friends. The first years of their married life found John and Tiny moving to several locations as John served in the Navy and then managed Montgomery Ward stores in various locations. In 1952, John and Tiny opened Murphy’s Ben Franklin Store in Swanton, Ohio. This became their lifelong business venture while, at the same time, their customers endeared them to the community of Swanton. One often found Tiny and John working together to find the perfect line of merchandise for the store and giving their customers personalized service. Later years found them taking a number of special trips with The Nomads and spending winter months on Sanibel Island. Tiny’s very special home away from home was their cottage on Iron Lake, Irish Hills, Michigan. Because Tiny was lovingly devoted to her family, it became the place where the Murphy kids would gather so she could bring family members together to create wonderful memories.

Tiny was a longtime member of the Trinity United Methodist Church and always enjoyed worshipping and serving with her church family. She was a charter member of the Delphians, a study group that was also a source of many close friendships. Although her life was rich with a variety of experiences, her true joy was family.

Those that will always cherish the love and beautiful memories she so richly provided include children John (Sally) Murphy, Anita Douglas, and Colleen (Matthew) McQuade; grandchildren Shannon (Jim) Marquette, Carmell (Dave) Kelbley, John Murphy, Kendal Douglas, Bryce (Shannon) Douglas, Megan McQuade, and Matthew (Stephanie) McQuade; 11 great-grandchildren; and special friend Helen Murphy.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, a private graveside service is planned. A memorial service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church in Swanton at a future date.

The family requests memorials be made to the Trinity United Methodist Church, 210 N. Main St., Swanton, OH 43558.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of LaVonne Murphy, please visit our flower store.


A fine woman, with a fine family. Thank you to all for the wonderful memories, at the store, church and the neighborhood.

Cathy (Bardwell) Limes May 14 2020 12:00 AM

Heartfelt condolences to the Murphy family. I have so many cherished memories of your mother. Her life was not only long but well lived.

Mary Bonam Guerin May 3 2020 12:00 AM

Extending my deep sympathy for your loss of Tiny.

Bob Vasko May 2 2020 12:00 AM

Our deepest sympathy to the family.I enjoyed working at Ben Franklin.

Kathy Raab Apr 30 2020 12:00 AM

Colleen, so very sorry for your loss of your Mother. Prayers for your entire family at this difficult time.

Dick Wood Apr 30 2020 12:00 AM

Colleen, John and family, we are sorry to hear of your moms passing. What a sweet lady she was. We hope your many happy memories will bring you lots of comfort.

Charlie & Barb (Rieneckert) Guess Apr 30 2020 12:00 AM

To Tiny's family. Your Mom always had a smile and kind words. May your wonderful memories sustain you all during this difficult time. She will always be remembered lovingly.
Prayers to all.

Ray and Dar Walter and family Apr 30 2020 12:00 AM

Sending condolences to you for your loss. The good Lord has welcomed home a true angel. God Bless you and your family.

Ray & Shirley Orben Apr 29 2020 12:00 AM

She was a Grand lady
Was so happy our family's new each other !!
So sorry for your loss

Tom & Joyce Shelley Apr 29 2020 12:00 AM

My Heartfelt Sympathy to the family. She was a Blessing to all who knew Tiny. She was a Beautiful person and will be missed.

Lois Pass Apr 29 2020 12:00 AM