The Los Angeles faith community extended a fond farewell to Mrs. Geraldine Stiles Murph, who passed away on Oct. 15, at the age of 100-years-old. Long admired for her intelligence, humility and grace, Geraldine made a lasting impression as a first lady, missionary, and AME Episcopal Supervisor as the wife of the late Bishop Henry W. Murph, Sr.
A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m., at New Vision Ministries, 2400 Southwest Drive in Los Angeles. Her son, the Rev. Dr. Frederick O. Murph, will officiate and deliver the eulogy. A repast will follow the service.
A native of Savannah, Georgia, Geraldine was born on June 26, 1918 to John and Lucille Lucas Stiles. She was educated in the Savannah public schools system and enrolled in West Virginia State University after graduating from high school. She excelled in her college studies and was also named West Virginia State beauty queen.
After earning her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at West Virginia State, she taught at Statesboro High School, Savannah State College, and adult education for the Veterans Administration.
Geraldine married Henry W. Murph in 1945, a union that lasted 61 years and produced four children. In addition, to assisting her husband during his pastoral assignments and presiding elderships in Georgia, she served 18 years with him as first lady of Grant AME Church in Los Angeles.
She was also active in the Women’s Missionary Society and attained Life Member status in recognition of her contributions. Upon Henry’s election to bishop in 1968, she traveled with him in the U.S. and Africa as episcopal supervisor in the AME Church’s 2nd, 5th, 7th, 10th and 18th districts.
Geraldine was preceded in death by her husband, Henry Sr.; son, Henry Jr.; parents and four siblings. Cherishing her memory are her children, Jacquelyn (John) Taylor-Hadjis, Ronald and Frederick; grandchildren Romalis (Rie) Taylor and Janelle Murph, two great-grandchildren, one nephew, three nieces and other relatives and friends.