Jo Anne Murphy, 72, died Wednesday, March 6, 2019.

She was born July 16, 1946, in Las Vegas to George Washington Murphy Sr. and Mary Alice Murphy. She spent most of her life growing up in Russell where she quickly began building a life as a global citizen that would take her thousands of miles away from her hometown.

She excelled in her academic achievements. She was a 1964 graduate of Russell High School and was valedictorian. In 1968, she graduated with a degree in history and bachelor of arts with distinction from Fort Hays State College. She was salutatorian and she earned both a master’s and a doctorate degree in international relations from the The Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland.

Her keen intellect took her on many journeys in exploring life and spirituality, in working with both local and international humanitarian organizations focused on improving the lives of the people in the world who had little access to resources to meet their basic human needs and finally in academia where she led the recognition of a university initiative by the United Nations.

She enjoyed exploring and being part of different cultures of the world and she spent over 20 years living in Senegal, West Africa, a country that helped to shape her views as an adult.

Her greatest joy in life was in bringing diverse people together to have a shared experience in creating a positive future for all.

Survivors include two sons, Maham Aliou Ba and Mansour Madior Niang; two daughters, N’Deye Rosalie “Lee” Niang and Elizabeth “Lis” Owuor; three brothers, Edward, Frederick and George Murphy; three sisters, Teresa Thompson, Kimberly Unokwah, and Barbara Murphy-Warrington two grandchildren, Chelsea Shenette Duncan and Matteo Aliou Ba; and a host of nieces, nephews, adopted children and friends.

She was preceded in death by a son, Shams Cherif Murph; her parents; a brother, Gregory Murphy; and a sister, Sharion Wilson,

Private graveside services were March 8.

Rowe-Lanterman Home for Funerals, Morristown, N.J., is in charge of arrangements.

The family requests donations in lieu of flowers at www.gofundme.com/6z27mds