Peggy Baker Murphy, 72, of Homer, passed away at Cortland Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on November 16, 2020 after a brief illness. Peggy was born in Troy, N.Y. on the Fourth of July, cementing her lifelong patriotism. She spent her childhood and early adult life in Rhode Island and loved to return to the R.I. beaches whenever possible. She graduated from Jamestown Community College, earning an A.A. degree with high honors, in 1976. She earned her bachelor’s degree, with honors, from SUNY Fredonia in 1978. She was accepted into Cornell University’s graduate program in Government on a John L. Senior Fellowship where she earned her Master’s degree in 1981.
In the 1980s Peggy taught at both Ithaca College and at St. John Fisher College in Rochester as an assistant professor, where she taught constitutional law and other American politics and law-related courses. She taught for over two decades as an instructor at SUNY Cortland in both the Political Science Department and the English Department. Students always praised her teaching as tough, thorough, and fair. She retired from the college in 2015.
Peggy’s community activities included service as a member of the Landmark Society, the 1890 House Board, the Cortland County Democratic Committee, and member and Chairperson of the Homer Zoning Board of Appeals. She always held an abiding love for the law and enjoyed a lifelong passion for gardening, antiques, Rhode Island beaches and folk music.
Peggy is survived by daughters Mellissa (Aaron) Mitchell and Shannon Fuller; brothers Bryan (JoAnne) Brooks and Randy (Karen) Brooks, sisters Marty Lazzaro and Deborah (Dana) Zak; grandchildren Alexis Long, Olivia Mitchell, Luke and Cassandra Fuller, and several nephews and nieces.
A private memorial service will be held in the spring. The family sends their thanks to the staff at Cortland Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center for their care and attention.
Those wishing to make memorial donations are asked to consider the Cortland County SPCA.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Peggy Baker Murphy, please visit our floral store.
Cortland County SPCA
879 McLean Road, Cortland NY 13045