Sharon DeBerry Murdaugh, 80, of Springfield, Missouri, passed away peacefully in her home on August 10, 2019, after a courageous 9-month struggle with lung disease. She was born on May 9, 1939, in Springfield to Richard and Ruby DeBerry.
Sharon had an idyllic childhood with parents who loved her beyond measure, including many aunts and uncles, all of whom thought she hung the moon. She was an only child for 10 years until her sister Susan was born and completed their family. Even though they were born a decade apart, they grew as close as two sisters can be. Her nickname “Sharonie” was given to her by Susan and Susan’s sons, Matthew and Christopher, still call her “Aunt Sharonie” to this day.
Sharon was always close to her large extended family and especially close to her cousin Jeanne DeBerry Buffalo who was more like a sister than a cousin. They took tap dance classes together and their class performed a show at the Gillioz theater in which she and Jeanne were featured dancers. Jeanne was her maid of honor and they remained close her entire life. Sharon was also very close to her cousin Robert Earl Northrip (Bob) who was born 3 hours before her and never let her forget that he was the older cousin. They grew up together from infancy and spent so many happy years making lifelong memories.
On July 5, 1957, Sharon married Rodney Murdaugh, her first and only love. Together they had five children. They celebrated 62 years of marriage in July.
Family was everything to Sharon. She was an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister and cousin, but the role she loved most was being “Mima” to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her life was always about taking care of the ones she loved so dearly.
Sharon had a passion and talent for music. She made her first public singing performance at the age of four and sang in many school and church choirs. She played drums in the Central High School Kilties and later took professional drum lessons, which she parlayed into a singing duo with her husband Rodney. Over a period of 12 years, they performed nightly at the Holiday Inn, some other venues including the Twin Oaks Country Club, and finally at the Golden Lion. She loved this time in her life so much. She was a natural performer and a rare beauty which combined to make her and Rodney a popular entertainment duo in the 70’s and 80’s.
Sharon supported Rodney’s piano tuning, repair, and restoration business for decades by scheduling appointments, providing daily itineraries with driving directions, and doing billing and paperwork.
Sharon loved keeping a beautiful home and had an eye for decorating. She loved hosting family gatherings and celebrations. Her taste in jewelry and clothing made her a fashion icon.
Sharon was also an avid runner for over 20 years. She participated in several running events and even got her husband Rodney to begin running with her, which they enjoyed doing together for many years. Her health conscious attitude and dedication extended into exercising, pilates, and a healthy diet. She had remarkable strength and resiliency.
Sharon was preceded in death by her firstborn daughter, Sherri Lynn, who was tragically killed in an accident at the age of four. She was also preceded in death by her parents Richard and Ruby who were affectionately known as “Nana” and “Bampi.” She is now reunited with them and many other loved ones.
The lives of her family and the friends she touched will never be the same.
Surviving are husband Rodney, children Randy Murdaugh (wife Sherri), Springfield, Dea Leggett (husband Wes), Windsor, Colorado, Greg Murdaugh (wife Shelley), Springfield, Paul Murdaugh, Springfield, sister, Susan McDaniel, Springfield, 11 grandchildren,7 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family will be receiving friends from 6-7 p.m. with a celebration of life service at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 17, at Herman H. Lohmeyer Funeral Home, 500 E. Walnut Street in Springfield.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Lung Association, 8400 W. 110th Street, Suite #130, Overland Park, Kansas 66210.
Permanent online condolences, stories and photos may be shared at www.hhlohmeyer.com