Pearl Murphy, 98, passed in her sleep on October 13, 2015, at River Oaks Health Campus of Princeton, IN.
She was born September 18, 1917 in Harlan County, KY.
Pearl was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest P.
Murphy; one son, Ernest Murphy, Jr.; two daughters, Delois
Fetcher and Margaret Ashworth; her parents, Colonel and Minnie Short and four
Surviving are her daughters, Dr. Tina E. Murphy of Evansville, daughter and son-in-law, Elnor and Chick Bugher of Patoka, son and daughter-in -law, Ron and Angie Murphy of Princeton, and son-in-law, Steve Fetcher of Patoka. Also surviving are one sister, Georgia Smith of Closplint, KY; grandchildren, Tina M. Murphy, Jody Whitehead and Travis Murphy of Princeton, Tonya Mead of Scottsdale, AZ, Akissa Hormell of McKinney, TX, Tim Fetcher of Mt. Olympus, IN, Greg Fetcher of Elberfeld, IN, Mark Fetcher of Princeton, Veronica Robinson, Loogootee, IN, Becky Glenn of Princeton, IN, Mike Murphy of Iowa, Clay Murphy of Cherryville, NC, Clint Murphy of Poseyville, IN and Sherri Hardiman of Princeton, Bill Sisk of Ft. Branch, plus 27 great-grandchildren.
Pearl and her husband made significant contributions to the Labor Movement during the 1930’s while living in Harlan County, KY. Repeated attempts to organize labor and gain improved wages and safety measures for coal miners prompted violent confrontations among strikers, coal mining company’s security forces, known as “gun thugs” and law enforcement. The strikers’ efforts proved to be invaluable. Their causes were advanced, and they eventually won improved mining safety and wage benefits. The events of that time lead to the area being historically tagged as “Bloody Harlan.”
Pearl and her husband were subsequently requested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to travel to Frankfort, Kentucky to testify as government witnesses during a Federal trial charging the so-called thugs and mine owners with murder, conspiracy and lawlessness. Federal witnesses were met with gunfire on their first night there in the hotel. A gun thug was shot and killed by FBI agents as he attempted to machine gun his way toward the witnesses. Pearl and her husband continue to be seen as heroes by many who fought so valiantly for miners’ rights.
She and her family moved to Princeton, Indiana in 1950 from Coretta, West VA. Following that move, Pearl was a cook and chef at several area restaurants, including eighteen years at the Elks Club in Princeton, IN. She was a member of the New Life Church of the Nazarene for forty years where she taught Sunday school for twenty years.
Pearl always gave the very best of herself in great measure. She often stated that she loved everyone on earth and expected to see her friends again as heavenly angels. She was revered, loved and respected by her family, church members and the entire community. She will be greatly missed.
Funeral Services will be held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at the Colvin Funeral Home in Princeton, with Rev. Andrew Johnson officiating. Burial will be in the Maple Hill Cemetery in Princeton. Visitation will be from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM on Saturday at the Colvin Funeral Home.