Standing at just five foot two inches tall, she towered over all she met. Daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt: Pauline Bertolino Murphy was all these things with a smile and an encouraging word.
Born to Sicilian immigrants, Philip and Rena Bertolino, she grew up in Galveston on 15th and Mechanic in a house smelling of garlic, olive oil and ravioli. She was a Dominican High School graduate in 1942 and the best dancer at the USO. There, she met a blue-eyed soldier from Philadelphia, George Murphy, who became her husband of 47 years. They made a home in Galveston and had four children and nine grandchildren.
She was particularly proud that her children earned 10 college degrees between them. She bled burnt orange. One of the very few legitimate reasons she could muster to cross the Causeway was to sit under the oak trees on the grounds of the LBJ School at UT. She, no doubt, knew that if she’d been born at a different time she would have walked that beautiful campus as a student herself.
After her husband George passed away in 1997, Pauline maintained the family home for many Mardi Gras celebrations, family dinners and Saturday morning coffee with friends. No one left her house without a smile or something to eat.
She was blessed with wonderful friends – Saturday morning coffee clubbers Jane, Mariam, Margie, Nellie and Grace — and she cherished their company and conversation. Pauline and her family are also grateful for the extraordinary kindness and care of Dr. Michael Boyars.
Survivors include sisters Anne Vicevich and Fran Lidstone; son Joe and wife Coral Beach, and their children Molly and Matthew; daughter Cathy and husband Bernie Curran, and their children Raymond, Bryan and Jack; daughter Liz and husband Billy McBride, and their daughter Allie; son George, Jr., and wife Sabrine, and their children George, III, Grace and Kate.
Services will be at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 15, 2010, with visitation from 10-11 a.m., at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on 14th Street at Broadway. Burial will follow services at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Dickinson.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to your favorite charity.
Few have passed having done as much for others – and none more.