Ruth Grace (Jernick) Murphy, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, passed away from cancer March 2 at her home in Jersey City, N.J. She was 67. Her late parents, Robert and Grace (Miller) Jernick, were lifelong North Fork residents.
Ruthie, as she was known to family and friends, ran for Riverhead Town supervisor in 1999 following a stint as a columnist for Suffolk Life. She began her journalism career as a reporter with the Riverhead News-Review, where she later became editor. It was at the News-Review that she met her future husband, then editor James “Jim” Murphy. In 1985, Ruth wrote the opinion piece for the New York Times, “What Summer People Do,” a satirical look at the “migratory route” of “summer people.” She was also editor of the Five Towns Herald in Nassau County.
Ruth’s novel, “Housewife,” a cynical look at the life of the suburban housewife, was published in 1981.
Ruth spent much of her life in and around the North Fork, fiercely defending the farming culture she adored as a child — at least when she wasn’t busy fawning over and doting on her son, Max.
Predeceased by her husband in 2010, Ruth is survived by her son; daughter-in-law, Karen; and granddaughters, Lila, 8, and Fiona, 6, who were simply her favorite darlings.
Trader Joe’s will likely notice fewer missing raspberries as a result of her passing.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to her favorite cause, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, where captive elephants enjoy a safe and more natural habitat to live out their lives.