Karen Murphy

Obituary of Karen B. Murphy

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North Plainfield, NJ – Karen Beth Murphy (nee Kulig), 74, passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 28, 2023, at her home in North Plainfield.

Born to the late Joseph and Elva Kulig, Karen was raised in Dunellen, before residing in Plainfield, NJ. In 1986 she settled in North Plainfield where she has been a longtime resident.

Following her graduation from Caldwell College, she began her teaching career as a fourth grade teacher at Our Lady of Mount Virgin in Middlesex. She later became a first and second grade teacher at Vander Veer Elementary School in Somerville, retiring in 2011 after 25 years. It was in Somerville that Karen was named “Teacher of the Year” in 2006.

Karen was an active member in the Plainfield Junior Women’s Club, where she served as president; the Plainfield Mayor’s Art Committee and was a parishioner of Our Lady of Fatima RC Church in Piscataway where she and her husband, James Murphy, were wed. Following their wedding, the two belonged to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Plainfield. Karen often baked goods for the soup kitchen operated by St. Mary’s church as well.

A fan of the arts, Karen loved attending concerts and the opera, and playing guitar and piano. She also enjoyed entertaining, hosting luncheons and dinners for family and friends throughout the years. With a drive to see the world, she was an experienced traveler. Karen visited Europe, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and the Bahamas, to name a few places. However, London was her favorite city outside of the United States.

Predeceased by her son, James P. Murphy, III, Karen leaves behind her loving husband, James P. Murphy, Jr., and daughter, Erin E. Murphy, of Cambridge, MA. She will also be missed by her brother, Alan J. Kulig, of Dunellen; brothers and sisters in law, Lawrence Murphy and his wife Peggy, of Manchester, NJ, Carleen Healy and her husband William, of Hillsborough, NJ, Regina Muccigrossi and her husband Robert of Belle Mead, NJ, and Sean Murphy and his wife Lynne, of Greenville, NC; nephews, Ryan Healy, Brendan Healy, Matthew Muccigrossi, Michael Muccigrossi, and Danny Muccigrossi; and nieces Kathleen Murphy, Maureen Murphy, and Meghan Spalding, along with a host of extended relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers the Murphy family has asked that donations be made to Caldwell University or Center for Hope Hospice, in Karen’s name.




10:00 am
Friday, January 12, 2024
McCriskin – Gustafson Home For Funerals
2425 Plainfield Avenue
South Plainfield, New Jersey, United States

Funeral Mass

11:30 am
Friday, January 12, 2024
Our Lady of Fatima R.C. Church
501 New Market Rd
Piscataway, New Jersey, United States

Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery

Hillside Cemetery Scotch Plains
1401 Woodland Avenue
Scotch Plains, New Jersey, United States
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Karen Murphy

In Loving Memory

Karen Murphy

1949 - 2023

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