Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cynthia L. (Pierce) Murphy

Surrounded by her loving family, Cynthia L. Murphy, age 59, passed away Sunday, March 25, 2012, after a courageous battle with ALS. She was born in Milton, WI, on October 28, 1952, daughter of Gailen A. and the late Janice V. (Nee: Graves) Pierce, where she grew up on a dairy farm.

Cynthia left the farm her senior year at Milton High School to study government. She studied history at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater and four years later switched to law, graduating in 1978, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Moving to Racine in 1978 she began her career as a trial attorney with the State of Wisconsin Public Defender’s Office, where she tried numerous jury trials including high-profile murder cases. She left the public defender’s office in 1985 to go into private practice, Murphy, Paulson & Murphy, S.C., and concentrated in the family law area. Cynthia handled all types of law cases including divorce, legal separation, child custody and support.

 She served as a speaker at family law seminars, served and was actively involved on numerous boards for various agencies, including the YWCA and Women’s Resource Center. In 1999 she was the recipient of the “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Women’s Business Association and was awarded the “Volunteer of the Year” by the Racine County Bar Association. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church. Through her experiences in family law, Cynthia was always very conscious of the concept of family, and cherished every moment with her own family. She raised four children with love and care. Cynthia will be deeply missed.

Survivors include her children, Matthew Johnson of Milwaukee, WI, Rebecca Johnson (Frank) Fortino of Spring Grove, IL, Courtney (Chris) Dembiec of Winona, MN, Quinn Murphy of Sheboygan, WI; her father, Gailen A. Pierce of Milton, WI; brothers and sister, Allen (Gayle) Pierce of LaCrosse, WI, Gordon (Patricia) Pierce of Sullivan, WI, Sally V. (James) Neitzel of Racine, Michael (Mary) Pierce of Milton, WI; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many dear friends.

A Memorial Service celebrating Cynthia’s life will be held Thursday, March 29, 2012, at 1 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 745 Main St., with Rev. Brad Van Fossen officiating. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the church Wednesday evening from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. and Thursday at the church from noon until time of service at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the ALS Association or to the Women’s Resource Center have been suggested.

803 Main St., Racine (262) 634-7888

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