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Yvonne Britt Murphrey of Roanoke Rapids, NC, died November 19 in Winston-Salem, NC.


Yvonne was born in Lumberton, NC, on September 16, 1934, to the late Sudie Pitman Britt and Willis Carl Britt.  Her father served in World War II and was killed by a mine explosion in Germany in 1945.  

She always was so thankful that her mother, sister, and she were able to travel and join her father in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Mississippi before he was sent to Germany.  Yvonne dearly loved “her daddy.”

A 1952 graduate of Lumberton High School, Yvonne continued her education at Women’s College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) earning a B.A. in education in 1956.  

She was honored to have been chosen by the faculty to be a marshal her junior and senior years and to be inducted into the Cornelian Society.  

After graduation, Yvonne taught third grade in the Winston-Salem City Schools and met Willis Everette “Doc” Murphrey III, who was in his third year of law school at Wake Forest University.  After Doc’s graduation and passing the bar, Doc and Yvonne were married in Lumberton on August 17, 1957.  

They moved to Roanoke Rapids, Doc’s hometown, where he began a law practice and Yvonne became the first third grade teacher at Manning School in 1957.  

She also taught at Clara Hearne Middle School and again at Manning School after her children were in grade school.  She adored all of her students.

She was predeceased by her husband Doc in 2005, her parents, and her in-laws Dr. and Mrs. Willis Everette Murphrey Jr.  

She is survived by her children Willis Everette Murphrey IV (Angie Manz) of Winston-Salem and Susan Britt Murphrey Macon (James Madison Macon V) of Enfield.  

“Lovie” to her grandchildren, Yvonne also is survived by her grandchildren Willis Everette Murphrey V, Sarah Alice Murphrey Matthews (McKay), Gracely Davidson Murphrey, Emily Randolph Harrison Macon Tripp (Tyler), James Madison Macon VI, and Katherine Macon DeGenova (John) and great grandchildren Arrington Rivers Tripp, Elizabeth Draper Tripp, and Theodore Thomas DeGenova.  Her sister Billie Rose Britt Petrou and sister-in-law and brother-in-law Anna Harper Murphrey and Arthur Henry Kreienbaum also survive along with several nieces and nephews.  

She treasured her foreign exchange student son, Bart Vogel, of Australia.  

Yvonne was a member of Rosemary Baptist Church, the Weldon Book Club, and the Thursday Afternoon Club.  

She impacted many with her hospitality and generosity.  

Yvonne shared “I was so blessed and fortunate to have shared my life with such a wonderful, loving, giving, and fun-loving man to me, his family, and everyone he knew.  I loved my two children who were everything to Doc and me and their spouses who we were so fortunate to call ours. Most especially, our grandchildren were such a special gift and made our days brighter.”

A visitation will be held Sunday, November 24, from 3-5 pm at Wrenn, Clarke, and Hagan Funeral Home at 1015 West 5th Street.  

A memorial service to celebrate Yvonne’s life will be held at 2 pm Monday, November 25, at Rosemary Baptist Church.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Rosemary Baptist Church, 936 Jackson Street, Roanoke Rapids, NC, 27870.

Online Condolence can be made to: www.wrennclarkehagan.com