NORTH YARMOUTH — Fun Day has been a big part of Katie Murphy’s life.
She has helped organize several of the annual events, and enjoys having her sandwich from the town historical society, followed by a piece of pie and ice cream.
But this year’s Fun Day – to be held at the Village Green Saturday, May 6 – will serve up something particularly special for Murphy, when it honors her as North Yarmouth Distinguished Citizen.
“I feel very honored,” Murphy said Aug. 29. “Especially because … there are so many people in town that contribute to the town, and I’m just one of them.”
Murphy said she has seen an increasing number of residents who want to help, particularly in light of the town-center initiative that’s underway.
“We have so many people now who are coming forward to express their opinions, and to give information,” said Murphy, who serves on the town’s Economic Development and Sustainability Committee. “And I’m really excited to be part of that process.”
Murphy, 58, grew up in the suburbs of New York City and lived in western Massachusetts while attending college. She found her way to North Yarmouth in 1979.
She was working as a librarian at the Maine Historical Society in Portland when she rented an 1820s farmhouse in the town with three people, including Peter Lindsay, whom she married at the North Yarmouth Congregational Church in 1982.
“It was a great way to discover this town,” Murphy recalled. “… I didn’t know anything about rural living at all, had not lived in as small a town as this. In some ways I was really looking for community, (and was) ready to settle down.”
Murphy and Lindsay built a home on Mountfort Road, where they still live. They have two children: Matt, 30, and Cristina, 25, who they adopted from Peru.
Murphy’s background includes graphic design, writing – she authored “International Adoption: Sensitive Advice for Prospective Parents” – and editing. A decade ago she launched a full-time business, Univoice Personal History, through which she helps people create printed and audio memoirs to preserve their family history.
History remains a big part of Murphy’s present and future.
Five years after joining the North Yarmouth Historical Society in 1990, she became the organization’s president, and has remained so ever since.
Aside from the economic development group and historical society, Murphy’s town involvement has included serving on the Comprehensive Plan and Events committees, the latter which organizes Fun Day and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. She also serves on the communications subcommittee of the Board of Selectmen.
“Katie Murphy is part of the enduring history of North Yarmouth,” reads a tribute to her in this year’s Fun Day program. “She has made our town a better place to live and has created a great legacy for future generations.”
And the feeling is mutual. Murphy said she has enjoyed the friendliness of the neighborhood where she and her husband built their home, and of the town as a whole.
“North Yarmouth, I feel like, it’s a little hidden jewel,” Murphy said. “There’s so much open space here, and so many beautiful vistas. And I feel lucky that we found it.”
Katie Murphy will be honored at North Yarmouth Fun Day Saturday, Sept. 6, as the town’s 2014 Distinguished Citizen.