Cover photo for Mollie Catherine Murphy's Obituary
1989 Mollie 2024

Mollie Catherine Murphy

January 1, 1989 — February 28, 2024

Sacramento

Mollie Catherine Murphy passed away with her close family and friends by her side on February 28, 2024 at the age of 35 years. Mollie was a uniquely amazing person, and a loving mom, wife, daughter, sister, auntie, and friend. Mollie cultivated joy, love, and laughter among those privileged to know her, and is dearly remembered for her big heart, positivity, and fearlessness.

 Mollie was the first baby of the year born in Ukiah, California on January 1, 1989, to parents Vivian White and Kevin Murphy. Mollie was born with a congenital heart condition and had her first heart surgery at seventeen days old. She went on to have a heart transplant at 13 years old. Even though she lived with a life-threatening condition, Mollie was a warrior and never let her condition stop her from living every day to its fullest. 

 At Mariposa Elementary School, where students spent much of the day playing and learning outdoors under the redwoods and buckeye trees, Mollie cultivated deep friendships, a sense of adventure and curiosity, and a love of nature. While she often struggled to keep up with her friends, that never stopped her from being fully present, engaged, or as playful and physically active as possible. She consistently modeled and taught those around her to find joy in every moment and to face each day with courage, love, and resilience. 

Mollie lit up any room she walked into with her smile, charisma, and humor. From a young age she participated in local theater and performing arts, including through the local School of Performing Arts and Cultural Education (SPACE) and Ukiah Player’s Theatre (UPT). In high school, Mollie and her friends formed a comedy improv group, where she used her quick wit and comedic talents to bring laughter, joy, and playfulness to students and parents alike, while she and the troupe seldom missed a chance to embarrass the parents with bawdy humor. Mollie’s sense of adventure took her to Spain for a semester in her junior year of high school where she lived with her Uncle Brian, learned Spanish, and performed in the school play. 

 Mollie was an unabashed extrovert and people person. She was compassionate, caring, and valued deep connections. She had a way of making friends wherever she went by breaking the ice with jokes to create comfort, connection, and space for vulnerability.  She is also well remembered for fiercely never allowing accidental cruelty to go unchecked, while her reprimands were always delivered with caring and respect.

 Mollie’s academic, professional, and volunteer career were driven by her deep conviction that all people deserve the opportunity to live full and joyful lives, as well as by her passion for children and families. Mollie studied sociology at UC Santa Cruz, where she founded and co-led the STAND Anti-Genocide Coalition. After college, Mollie moved to Everett, WA to volunteer for AmeriCorps, becoming a Family Services Coordinator for a local community center, working with both youth and parents of immigrant and refugee families. In 2012, she moved to San Francisco, where she worked for Seneca Family of Agencies, working to locate and connect family members of foster children and create plans to keep children out of foster care. Driven by a desire to impact policy for upstream change, Mollie pursued a law degree, graduating from UC Davis School of Law in 2017.  During this time, Mollie volunteered at various Spanish-speaking legal clinics. After graduating, she moved to Sacramento and worked as an attorney at Boutin Jones, Inc. Over the last few years, Mollie worked at the California Department of Managed Health Care, initially supporting citizens confronting insurance problems, and then in researching and writing broader policy language to protect the health and wellbeing of California residents. She served as an active board member for Wind Youth Services, working to create safe spaces for homeless and foster youth. She was also an advocate for organ donation and volunteered for Sierra Donor Services. 

 Mollie met her husband Craig Allen in 2012, while living in San Francisco. Infamously and completely out of character for them both, they met at a nightclub at an event called “Booty SF.” Despite this inauspicious yet fateful meeting they quickly connected over their shared fervor for adventure and a calling to explore the great outdoors. Driven by his deep love of Mollie and spreadsheets, Craig planned and orchestrated numerous activities with friends and family. like camping trips, mountain climbing expeditions, (and skinny dipping stops with Mollie) whenever he could. Craig bought and outfitted a van, lovingly dubbed “Beluga,” for road trips through national parks in Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, and beyond, and impromptu weekend trips to the Sierras. They took trips to Hawaii, Sweden, and Spain. Mollie and Craig were married in 2018 in a beautiful ceremony among friends and family in Mollie’s hometown of Ukiah, CA, officiated by her childhood friend Caleb Meek-Bradley, with Beluga featured among the images on their invitation and their cake! Sharing core values such as family, honesty and generosity, Craig and Mollie encouraged one another to grow and challenged each other to step out of their comfort zone. Craig’s steadfast support and encouragement of Mollie helped her to fulfill many dreams. 

 Mollie and Craig were blessed with the addition of baby Addie in August 2020. Mollie was an incredible mother and partner. She loved Craig and Addie deeply. They enjoyed biking the river trail behind their house, walking their dogs Bruno and Ender, and going to the farmer’s market. They loved spending time in the backyard, swimming in the pool, clipping flowers, and picking fruit from their trees. Mollie and Addie loved bathtime together, reading books, talking about the highlights of the day, and singing special songs before bed. Craig, Addie, and Mollie built loving, tight-knit circles of friends and family, often hosting family reunions as well as barbecues and social gatherings for their many loved ones. She formed life-long friendships with people wherever she went, eventually creating an intentional community of friends, a chosen family, in Sacramento.

 Mollie loved spending time working on her physical health and strength. She enjoyed hiking, biking, zumba, and crossfit. This fall, she started weight lifting and was proud to deadlift 150 pounds.  She did everything she could to support a long healthy life, but after 21 years with her transplanted heart, it suddenly failed her. Her family and friends were stunned and deeply saddened.

 Mollie is survived by her husband Craig N. Allen, daughter Addilyn M. Allen, mother Vivian K. White, father Kevin P. Murphy, and brother Colin J. Murphy and by the many close relatives on both sides of the extended, loving family created by Craig and Mollie’s marriage. Our loss is incalculable, while Mollie’s love is still palpable.

In lieu of flowers, people are encouraged to share messages, pictures and stories about Mollie with Craig, Addie, and the extended family at rememberingmolliemurphy@gmail.com. If you’d like to do more, please consider donations to Sierra Donor Services or Wind Youth Services in Mollie's name. 

Details about a Celebration of Life to be held in Sacramento on July 28th will be announced here.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mollie Catherine Murphy, please visit our flower store.

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