Remembering Lauren Murphy


The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.


The motto for Clifton is "The city that cares." The embodiment of that manifested itself with Lauren Murphy.

Sadly, our beloved councilwoman passed away this past weekend at 69 after a protracted battle in courageously fighting pancreatic cancer.

Lauren took up meaningful causes because within her core was a fervent desire to always provide a welcoming hand, a smiling face, a tireless voice, in supporting those in need of a true friend and caring soul.

For Lauren, lost causes only remained lost when others kept eyes closed to the plight of fellow human beings and those in the canine world.

The forgotten only remain that way if we choose to forget. Lauren reminded people how such ignorance can evolve in showing what the true meaning of community must be.

Lauren knew the measurement of a community is not how the top 10% economically are faring. She wanted to make sure her community extended its hand for those going through an assortment of difficult times.

On a personal level, I was pleased when I left Council in 2014 and Lauren was coming on board to provide her indefatigable spirit. There are some who come to public service reveling in a narrow self-centered silo where constant self-promotion is cemented solely through a never-ending "look at me" narcissism. Her mantra was living life as author and educator Stephen Covey articulated – "seek to understand before being understood."

Lauren's maxim was getting the work done - not worrying about who or where the credit was placed.

Lauren's fire-in-the-belly passion was inexorably demonstrated with a clear authenticity. The emotions showed were in alignment with people searching for a deep-seated humanity to the situations they were facing. Lauren knew if people do not believe you - they will never follow you.

Building trust and anchoring a bridge that provided a pathway from isolation to connectiveness is what Lauren demonstrated.

At the center point of Lauren's life was rightful pride in her role as a loving mother and grandmother. Her posts on social media brought to light an inner joy showcasing her humanity and how she carried that forward to those nearest to her.

So much of modern life is based on how much people can take from others rather than the more lasting what we can give to one another.

I, along with countless others in Clifton, will miss Lauren.

As we all know, the exact date and time of our leaving this earth is known only to the Almighty. Let us all walk on the pathway Lauren forged so that Clifton's motto is not an empty slogan but a central force for good.

To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt - Lauren spoke softly and carried a big heart.

Rest in peace, Lauren.

You were indeed Clifton's conscience.
Matt Ward
Former Clifton Councilman

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