Evelyn Agnes Murrill

April 14, 1930February 1, 2021

Evelyn loved her life, and life loved her back. She grew up in Sheffield, Alabama, where she ran the village green with a pack of kids and was adored by her parents. She was considered the smartest kid in class, fueled by curiosity that continued throughout her life. Evelyn deeply loved her sisters Lou and Peg, and her parents John and Ida. She was proud that her parents had very different political views and they would debate ideas at the dinner table with deep love and affection. Evelyn had a lifelong love of learning, and in particular science, in which she excelled, earning a doctorate degree in Chemistry. Her love of others and service led her to join the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, where she was a nurse, and nursing instructor. Always learning, Evelyn earned a doctorate degree in chemistry, and professionally worked as a principal chemist at Midwest Research Institute ("MRI"), where she was beloved by her peers for her integrity and honesty. She was awarded the MRI Council of Principal Scientists Professional Award in 1982. Following her retirement, Evelyn joined the Peace Corps and traveled to Papua New Guinea, where she continued her passion for teaching. Evelyn also loved to go boogie boarding when visiting her retired parents and sister in San Clemente, California. Evelyn was a fabulous role model for how to be happy regardless of circumstances.

Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents, sisters, and lifelong friend Sr. Martha Smith, CSJ. She is survived by her nieces Mary and Patty, and nephews Peter and Andrew. She has now joined her beloved family.

Due to health considerations, there are no funeral services planned at this time. Evelyn was a supporter of Harvesters Kansas City foodbank, and she would no doubt welcome contributions in her name.


  • Services are pending


Evelyn Agnes Murrill

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Tom Dux

February 22, 2021

Evelyn brought me to KC from Delaware by offering me a job on her team. She was an excellent boss, listening to everyone and encouraging us to explore and teach ourselves. We all "counted" in her world. She had that rare gift of being a great scientist and a good manager. She was also a good salesperson, three projects she sold are still in existence today, one for 45 years. She trained many scientists that help make KC a great place to live. Her work in toxicology helps keep us safe today. She also knew how to have fun. Her team's Christmas party was a delight. May she rest in peace.

Mike Fischer

February 15, 2021

I truly enjoyed working with Evelyn in the Pharmaceutical Section at MRI (even though she slapped me once-but not very hard). She was honest and direct, but would listen to the other side of the story. I didn't know of her background when I worked with her. I hope there is science in heaven.

Jim Spigarelli

February 15, 2021

First and foremost, Evelyn was a person of integrity. She would tell you exactly what she thought and wanted you to do the dame. To interact with Evelyn you had to be ready to give and take the unvarnished truth. She had no time to bother with varnishing. She was a hero to young staff, and admired by clients and colleagues.

Evelyn was truly an iconic figure at MRI. She was a colleague and friend of mine for almost 40 years. As a colleague, science always came first. It was her passion. Beyond science, there was her smile, which could burst into a hearty laugh instantly. There was her generosity, caring and compassion for others. These are just a few of the things that made Evelyn a special person and friend to many...a life very well lived. We miss her.

Ellen Dukes

February 15, 2021

Evelyn was very smart and a great deal of fun. As a young person she was very supportive of me, my aspirations, my challenges. We reconnected several years ago and enjoyed some excellent outings at some of KC's fine restaurants. Time did not dull her joyful attitude. Some people are just a GIFT and Evelyn was such a GIFT who never lost her soft Southern drawl. So glad you were a friend to me.
Ellen M. Dukes CSJA
Boston, MA

Donna Nichols

February 14, 2021

Evelyn was a scientist and a realistic leader with an interesting sense of humor. She could get high quality work out of average people - a gift we would all do well to cultivate.

Susan Long

February 8, 2021

Evelyn was an old friend (pun intended). She was smart, kind, generous and always wanting to be of service. She was one of the most memorable characters I’ve ever met.

Jon Onstot

February 4, 2021

Evelyn was a colleague of mine for many years. She was sweet, caring, but tough as nails. I loved her intellect and her mischievous smile. Eternal peace be yours.

Hope Green

February 3, 2021

Evelyn was a long term MRIGlobal colleague of mine and thereby counted as a 'family' member of mine.
I had recently thought of her and her laugh. My condolences to all her family and friends.