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In Memory of Jean Murphy


April 24, 1925 - September 7, 2022

From the family of Jean Murphy (Edna Jean Ludlow), it is with heavy heart we announce she passed away on September 7, 2022.

Jean was born on April 24, 1925 in Winfield, Kansas to James and Ora Ludlow.

She was born Edna, but after a bullying boy at school teased her by calling her “Ed”, she preferred to go by her middle name “Jean”. She probably didn’t have to go so far as the name change, because the boy never bothered her again after she quickly brought him down to the ground with her tennis racket. He was lucky she didn’t play baseball. She grew up in Kansas during the Dust Bowl era, which she said was a very challenging for a farming community. With the farming towns drying up as fast as the soil, shortly after her graduation, her parents and sister Doris sold or gave away most of their belongings, drove to Pine River, Minnesota, and started a new farming chapter in their life. Jean worked at Camp Lincoln for Boys as a cook during the summer months, but when factories started calling for help during World War II, she answered the call. She traveled to the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, found an apartment to rent, and worked as a Machine Shop Welder and Metal Lathe Operator for General Manufacturing Company. For 2 years she spent time working at Midwestern Metal Products Company, Northern X-Ray Company, and Conlyn Manufacturing Company, making metal parts in support of the war efforts. After the war, she returned to the Pine River area, and was hired by Joe Revore Photography, and that is when she found her calling as a professional Photographer.

In 1946 she was united in marriage to Arnold Keith Scheel, and together they had two sons, Arnold James and Bernard Howard, and one daughter Jean K.

In 1975 she was united in marriage to Michael S. (Mike) Murphy. Together they were outdoor enthusiasts for everything between the soil and the sky, whether it was harvesting vegetables from their gardens, star gazing at night in the meadow, or canoeing on the St. Croix River, they rarely sat idle. They loved taking road trips to Montana, Washington, and Oregon. But they also loved just getting in the van, truck or RV, and taking day trips to travel on the local back roads they had never been on before, just to see where they would go. After Mike passed away in 2008, Jean continued to take road trips with her faithful dog “Duffy” to visit friends and family; especially in the fall when the leaves were changing colors. During her travels, much of her view was through the lens of a camera or the camcorder. She loved capturing moments in time, and was often known to pull over on the side of the road just to get that perfect picture.

Jean was a passionate Photographer, Artist, and Author. She owned and operated Falls Studios for many years along Highway 8 between Amery and St. Croix Falls. She photographed hundreds of weddings, family pictures, commercial businesses, post cards, and senior class photos. She loved to paint portraits and nature scenes. She is well known in the area for capturing scenes along the St. Croix River and around Polk County. Some of her notable works featured “The Old Man of the Dells”, “The Devils Chair”, “St. Croix Falls”, “Trap Rock Plant”, “Kennedy Mill”, and many Round Barns in the area. She was an avid hiker and loved rock hunting. In her early years of Falls Studio was also a Rock Shop where she sold and traded petrified wood and agates to other Rock Hounds. The studio was highlighted as a one stop shop because she also performed her own dark room film developing for black and white photographs and also custom built picture frames on site.

Jean loved the outdoors, no matter the season. She was always up for camping, fishing, cross country skiing, picnics, or any other outdoor adventure. She loved animals, especially dogs. She always carried a tune in her head, and was well known for singing with family and friends. She loved singing and visiting with friends at the Congregational Church in Amery. She was very musical, and played many instruments, her favorite being the accordion and keyboard. Other talents she had were woodworking, wood-burning, and carving. Jean was also a talented writer and story teller; who she said came naturally to her because her parents and grandparents were good story tellers. From writing columns featured in the Amery Free Press and Ledger-Press of Balsam Lake, to her active role in the Co Po Penners writers group, she loved to share her stories and illustrations by publishing multiple books throughout the years. In 1989 she placed fifth in a national writing contest sponsored by Writer’s Digest Magazine.

Jean is survived by her children, Jim, Ben (Kathy Magnusson Timinskis) and Jean (Steve) Warner, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as nieces, nephews and friends.  In heaven she will rejoin her parents Ora and James Ludlow, her brother Howard, sisters Evelyn, Lillian, and Doris and grandchildren Karen, Ryan and Justin.

Jean will definitely be missed, but never forgotten.

Funeral services will take place at 11:00 am on Friday, September 30, 2022 at the Congregational Church UCC in Amery, WI. A visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will take place at the Northern WI Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spooner, WI following the luncheon after the service.

Last Update: Sep 09, 2022 11:12 am CDT

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