Cover photo for Jean Murphy's Obituary
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1941 Jean 2018

Jean Murphy

February 22, 1941 — January 14, 2018

Jean Murphy, 76, of Topeka, beloved Mother, Daughter, Nana and Friend, passed away on January 14, 2018 at Stormont-Vail Hospital.

Jean was born in Sylvia, Kansas on February 22, 1941 the daughter of Chester Earl and G. Ferne (Hess) Fox.  At the age of three her father died and she was raised by her mother Ferne and her daddy Harold Delmer “Pat” Murphy.

She was a graduate of Southeast High in Wichita, received her B.S. in Nursing from St. Mary of the Plains, and worked on her Master’s in Counseling at Washburn University.

Jean was a Registered Nurse for the Menninger Foundation and was a Supervisor of the Drug and Alcohol Unit at Stormont-Vail Hospital.  She retired from the State of Kansas.  After her retirement she and Al owned and operated Assessment for Direction Counseling Services. 

She was a friend of Bill’s, and supported many women over her 27 years.  Jean was also a cancer survivor.

She will be remembered for her sense of fashion and love of shoes, her great sense of humor, as an avid reader, socializing with people, and especially for being “Nana” to her grandchildren.  Jean loved to attend her grandchildren’s sporting and other events. 

Jean was married to Edmund “Ed” Wacker on February 21, 1962.  They later divorced.  She is survived by their children, Malisa Wacker (Donna Rae Spier) of Carpinteria, CA, Cathy Brake (Jahnnie) of Topeka, and David Wacker (Matt Millsaps) of Knoxville, TN, four grandchildren, Ashley Danielle Baloga (Nick) of Knoxville, TN, Riley Joseph Wacker-Putnam of Kansas City, MO, Emmie Grace Wacker-Putnam of Kansas City, MO, and Jace Edmund Brake of Topeka, six great grandchildren, Brianna, Brooke, J.C., Isaac, Lydia, and Olivia Jean, her significant other, Al Jaben of Topeka, adopted niece Jessica (Frank) Brown and their children, Lauren and Alex, and her cats, Serenity and Willingness who are currently looking for a loving home.

A Memorial Visitation will be held on Friday, January 19th, at the Ramada Inn Downtown, from 3:00 until 4:00 p.m.  At 4:00 a Celebration of her Final Meeting will begin.  A reception will follow the services.

In her memory, memorial contributions may be made to the Helping Hands Humane Society, CAT Association, or the Topeka Rescue Mission sent in care of Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, Kansas  66603.

Online condolences and fond memories may be left at

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, January 19, 2018

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Friday, January 19, 2018

4:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

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