Edna (Bernal) Murphy
We are deeply saddened to share that longtime Manhattan Beach resident, Edna (Bernal) Murphy, passed away, with her family and friends by her side, on March 10, 2020 at Little Company of Mary Hospital after a brief, but courageous, battle with cancer. Beloved wife, mom and grandma, she touched the lives of many as a loyal friend, innovative teacher, dedicated mentor and inspiring
colleague. Above all she loved her family and always put us first, especially her three grandchildren, Keane, Hannah and Reid. Grandma will be greatly missed.
Born Edna Jeanne Bernal on June 10, 1947 in Springer, NM, she spent her early childhood years growing up in the northern New Mexico towns of Wagon Mound and Raton with her parents Yolanda (Linda) and Lee Bernal, and many cousins, aunts and uncles. She later moved to Los Angeles with her parents, eventually settling in Torrance where she attended St. James elementary school and then Bishop Montgomery High School. She remained especially close to her New Mexico family, spending summers there and was like a sister to her Lopez and Martinez cousins. Edna was a first-generation college student and graduated from Mt. Saint Mary's College in 1969 with a degree in Mathematics. Later she earned a Master's degree in Education and 3 teaching credentials. Edna went on to teach all levels of math for 20 years, first teaching at Bishop Montgomery HS and later at West Torrance HS. She then spent 6 years as the math education consultant-in-charge for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Admired as a gifted teacher and outspoken advocate, Edna dedicated her career to making math approachable and fun for all students and teachers, all along sharing her love of math. Many of her students will remember her saying, "a day without math is like a day without sunshine."
In 1972, Edna married Don Murphy, and moved to Manhattan Beach in 1977 where the best friends raised their 2 daughters. They have been active parishioners of American Martyrs Catholic Church for the past 43 years. Strong in her faith, she served in many roles at American Martyrs throughout the years, including president of the pastoral council and member of the school board.
Edna was a passionate creator throughout her life, starting with her post-college days of launching her own handbag business to sewing elaborate costumes for her daughters, countless American Martyrs School plays, and later in life, for her grandchildren. She also loved good food and was an excellent cook and baker. She enjoyed sharing her kitchen creations and talents with family and friends. A lifelong learner, in retirement she became even more prolific in her creations, adding knitting, canning, gardening, and quilting to her list of many talents.
Edna was a model for building new friendships throughout life while treasuring lifelong ones. She had several tight knit circles of friends with whom she regularly walked the Strand, attended book clubs, knitted and quilted, explored new restaurants and local bakeries, volunteered, and supported justice and equality causes. Edna also was a world traveler with her family and friends, visiting Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Hawaii, and cruising to Alaska and the Panama Canal.
For the past ten years, Edna fulfilled her most treasured role of Grandma with total abandon. She spent as much time as possible with her 3 grandkids, playing, creating and enjoying life. Although her time with them was short, she made an impact that will be felt forever. Edna remains forever loved by her husband of 48 years, Don, her daughters, Ciara and Kate, sons-in-law Alan and David, three grandchildren, Keane, Hannah, and Reid, brothers John Bernal and Manuel Bernal, sisters-in-law Virginia Bernal, Irene Pfeifer, and Kathy Murphy, dear cousin Loretta Lopez, nieces and nephews, and her loving extended New Mexico family. She was greeted in heaven by her parents, dear cousins Sheila Cox and Sharon Martinez, and sisters-in-law Jean Bernal and Maureen Towey. Edna loved life and lived every moment to the fullest! She was dad's love of his life, and will be greatly missed by her family and friends. A celebration of life Mass and gathering will be held at American Martyrs Church at a later date.
Published in The Beach Reporter on Jun. 17, 2020.