Sydney West Murphy

March 10, 1950November 3, 2018

Sydney West Murphy passed away Saturday morning November 3 in her home in El Dorado, AR, after a years-long struggle with neurological degeneration. She was with her ever-present love, partner, compatriot, husband, and friend Michael W Murphy.

Born in San Antonio, TX, March 10, 1950 to Betty Warren West and Bill Gene West, she grew up in El Dorado, AR. She attended University of Arkansas, where she studied French and was a member of Chi Omega sorority.

She married Michael W Murphy on April 3, 1971 in El Dorado, AR. Through the course of their life together, they lived in Arkansas, Colorado, and South Carolina.

Sydney began a career in the 1970s designing jewelry for prominent fashion designers of the day, and studied interior design to open her own interior design business that spanned four decades and grew to have a substantial international presence. Her mission was to find and bring out beauty and joy everywhere she was called to be.

Sydney lived a life marked with a deep intensity for love and passion for truth and beauty, which was inherent in everything she did. Her personal, family, professional, spiritual lives reflected the inherent intensity for love and passion for truth and beauty.

She was actively engaged throughout her life in pursuits both philanthropic and otherwise ranging from South Arkansas Arts Center to the Salvation Army to a host of social causes near and dear to her heart. In each one, her heart was one towards mission.

She was also gifted with an unwavering dedication to see honesty, truth, and beauty in those around her. She spent inordinate time and energy to encourage, support, and yes even cajole those she cared about and loved to live into the fullness of whatever was before her.

As a true student of life, Sydney had an unquenchable desire to explore and learn new things, challenge herself and those around her to always be the best that was possible. She travelled extensively, always with her husband who she called her best companion and partner. She was always eager to explore new places and experiences, fearlessly taking on the unknown and creating a sense of home wherever she was.

Her zest for life was shared with everyone she met, and her showering her intensity and depth of commitment and caring for every relationship be it personal, professional, or spiritual was the gift she ultimately gave to us all.

Sydney is survived by her husband Michael W Murphy, her two sons Michael W Murphy II and Wade Murphy, godchildren Laura West Soltau and Sydney Cobb, and a loving family.

A funeral service will be held at First United Methodist Church in El Dorado, AR on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 2:00pm.

In Lieu of Flowers, donations in her name to South Arkansas Arts Center or Salvation Army are appreciated.

An online guest registry will be available at


  • Memorial Service Thursday, November 8, 2018

Sydney West Murphy

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Allen Jackson

November 26, 2018

I just heard this very sad news last night... My first "wow" memory of Sydney is watching an early 60's four-door black Continental drive up after school in front of 9th grade Barton Jr Hi & watching Sydney get in the car with Mike in the driver's seat - lol yep true story - and off they drove... one of those certain moments of witnessing "true love"... I was right! After high school, the few times I had the opportunity to see Sydney, I always called her "Grace" bc she was our grad-class-closest-to Grace Kelly movie star - she laughed & smiled every time. She was Grace, always smiling and always with Mike. Til we all meet again across the river I pray - Amen. Godspeed Sydney & Mike & family all... Allen Jackson, Little Rock

Todd Moody

November 9, 2018

Dear Mike and Family,
I am saddened and completely heartbroken over the news of Sydney's passing.
It was a great honor to know and work with Sydney over the past 23 years and it was a delight to see you both every time you walked into the showroom.
She was passionate about her work and family and she was one of the kindest persons I have ever met.
I hold you, Mike, and your family in my prayers knowing that our Our Almighty is the only one who will be able to give you strength through the coming days!
Sydney will be greatly missed but Forever remembered!

DR. Larry & Mrs. Sandra HORN

November 8, 2018

Mike and family we are so sorry to hear of sydney's passing. She was a most gracious and beautiful lady.
We will surely miss her.

Carolyn Pratt Clark

November 8, 2018

Wonderful memories of you and Sydney in ElDorado and Denver.
You are in my prayers to our Lotd Jesus 🙏

Cortney Sherman

November 8, 2018

I had the opprotunity to meet Sydney through first caregiving for her mother Betty Wooley. After Mrs Wooley passed, I was fortunate to reunite with the Murphy family through taking care of Bruce Wooley who was Sydneys step father. After the passing of Mr. Wooley, Sydney gave me the opportunity to work within her home alongside Mrs Elnora Hariss. Every minute in her presence was an opportunity to learn and gain knowledge that was essential to everyday life. She inspired me to be the best me that I could be.
In 2013, I went to Southern Arkansas University for my Bachelors in Social work and graduated in December of 2016. After my graduating, I wrote Sydney a letter expressing my gratitude for her inspiration and her support throughout the years. I say two weeks later I got a card back in the mail from her saying congratulations, also in that card was an unexpected check . All I could remember is me crying my eyes out because at the time I was currently in the process of applying to Gradute programs, asking myself how and when was I going to pay for the application fees and background checks.God truly sent a blessing to me that day in the form of Sydney Murphy, and for that, I will forever be grateful. After a long process of applying to many colleges, I got excepted into Boise State University and I finished my Masters in Social Work in May of this year, 2018. Mrs Murphy was a phenomenal woman who touched many lifes including my own. When I tell my life story and I mention my accomplishments, I have the pleasure of mentioning her and I thank God for giving me that.Heaven has indeed gained another angel. To the Murphy family, you are in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless you, keep you, and comfort you in your time of bereavement.

Nazaret Sirinoglu

November 8, 2018

We are very saddened by the news. Sydney was a faithful, caring, loving, determined and strong person. She'll be missed by many. My condolences and prayers are with Mike Murphy and the family.

Judy Posey

November 7, 2018

Mike and family, praying for your comfort
Punch, Fred, Nancy, and Judy James Posey

Courtney Stone

November 7, 2018

Sydney was a beautiful woman, friend, mentor, and boss. She was an artist whose canvas was gorgeous colors expressed through her fabric selection, rugs, art, and furniture. She saw the world in living color. Her clients loved and trusted her… and she loved them.

What comes most vividly to my mind occurred last Wednesday when we were working on a project together. Sydney had just returned from a cruise with her beloved husband and soul mate, Mike. She was rejuvenated. She was rejoicing and praising God. She truly felt she had been healed from years of pain. She was excited about a new beginning that allowed her to be Mike’s helper, to give back to the man she loved and respected so fully. There was an urgency to tie up loose ends on our current projects. Her excitement was tremendously contagious! The pain and sickness was in the past!

I realize now, the extreme enthusiasm and zeal for life she conveyed that day truly was for a new chapter in life… her eternal life in heaven.

I will be forever grateful to Sydney for taking a chance on me as a young designer. She enriched my life, enlarged my vision, strengthened my self-confidence, and encouraged me to reach my full potential. She taught me to seek self-worth in God, not in things of this world. She taught me to relax. She cared about my heart, my struggles, and my victories. Sydney allowed and expected her employees to start each day with a devotional reading followed by a prayer. Her design and her storefront were her ministry. She took great delight in leading others to the One who heals. Sydney had a unique gift of making everyone she knew or met feel appreciated, special, needed and loved. What a blessing she was to all who knew her.

Jim & Shirley Folk

November 7, 2018

Mike, we share in the sadness felt by all over the death of Sydney. However, we rejoice in the comfort of knowing where she will be spending eternity. We remember fondly the support of every variety that she gave in the founding of our church, St. Peters Anglican Church in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. This growing congregation would not exist today without the help, ministry, and backing of you and Sydney. She will be greatly missed by us personally and by the entire Anglican Community.

Apostle Larry W. & Co-Pastor Jessie Yarbrough

November 7, 2018

Our sincere condolences and prayers are with the entire Murphy Family.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Sydney while working for Mr. Charles and Mrs. Johnny Murphy, Sr. at their residence in 1973. One day, while working around the swimming pool, I noticed Sydney was teaching a few children how to swim. The thing that got my attention was her patience and encouragement toward those little children. Every time they got into the water and paddled their feet, Sydney let out a, "That was good! That was good"! I know she left a very kind and loving impression on those children..... and me....her kindness, encouragement, and enthusiasm!
May our Lord give you strength during this trying time.