Obituaries » Priscilla Murphy
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February 4, 1931 - June 28, 2020
Priscilla Anne Murphy formerly of Nampa died June 28, 2020 at her home near Sandpoint, Idaho after
struggling with Alzheimer’s for many years. Priscilla, age 89, was born February 4, 1931 at the home of
her maternal grandparents in Fair Oaks, California to Albert and Virginia Nicolet. She spent most of her
youth in California, including San Francisco where she would race up and down the hills on her roller
skates or scooter in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. At least once she, on her skates, took her older
brother in his wheelchair on a harrowing ride down the hills. Apparently, it wasn’t well received by her
parents. Mom, always the tomboy, was the only girl allowed to play baseball with the boys at school.
Around 1944 the Nicolet family moved to Glendale, Arizona, where Priscilla graduated from Glendale
Union High School in 1948. She attended one semester of college before she married Roland Murphy in
1949. Shortly thereafter they moved back to Roland’s hometown of Spokane, Washington. They
moved 21 times in the first 12 years of their marriage as Roland worked primarily in ranching jobs. They
finally settled in southwestern Idaho. During most of her early marriage Priscilla was a homemaker.
Beginning in 1960 she attended the College of Idaho where she received both her bachelor’s and
master’s degrees in education. She first taught 3rd grade in Wilder and then spent the rest of her career
as a 1st grade teacher at Lakeview and Parkview Elementary Schools in Nampa. She retired in 1993.
Priscilla enjoyed camping, rock hounding, fossil hunting, volunteering on archaeological excavations, and
being with her family. After the death of her husband in 1979 she became an EMT volunteer for the
Meridian Fire Dept. Her faith became a central part of her life. She then put her teaching expertise to
use through her Catholic affiliation by giving teaching workshops to educators in remote and poverty-stricken parts of Columbia, Mexico, and Peru. Learning a foreign language was difficult for her, but
eventually she learned Spanish. Often the teachers she instructed had only high school educations. She
would save money all year to pay for her trips, books, and teaching supplies. On one trip she traveled by
boat up a jungle river to reach a school she had heard about. Upon her return, a priest friend of hers
told her that this area was so dangerous that he would never travel there. On another occasion she got
permission from the Zapatista Army to provide workshops within their territory in southern Mexico. She
said it was quite an experience going in front of a council of masked individuals to get permission to
teach. She returned several years and upon departing was told that she was welcome back anytime.
She sometimes encountered adversity, she caught Dengue fever while on one of her trips, and once she
displaced her artificial hip in remote southern Mexico and it took almost two weeks to get her back to
the U.S. for surgery.
Priscilla was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and her brother Norman Nicolet. She is
survived by her children Tim (Donna), Mike (Emi), and Kathy (Rick) Emmert as well as six grandsons, one
granddaughter and one great-great grandson.