Love and laughter: Delores Murdock’s comforting nature dearly missed


Cynthia Boykin

Ms. Murdock never failed to brighten the halls of U-High — her presence has been sorely missed since she died March 26. 

Sahana Unni, Features Editor

“Gimme my hug, where my hug at?”

“Hi, how are you? My name is Miss Dee-lore-esss.”

“There she go. There’s that gal, girl.”

As a group of Delores Murdock’s closest friends — who refer to themselves as “her girls” — sat in the teachers’ lounge over lunch, all laughing while recounting her most iconic sayings, the joy and compassion Ms. Murdock brought to the Laboratory Schools in her decades working as a Judd Hall daytime porter were evident. Despite missing her presence in their daily lunch conversations, there was nothing but smiles as each woman shared hilarious and heartwarming anecdotes of their friendship with Ms. Murdock, showcasing the kindness she was constantly demonstrating.

From the various funny stories she enjoyed sharing to her commitment to helping everyone around her, Ms. Murdock never failed to brighten the halls of U-High — a presence that has been sorely missed since she died March 26. According to Cynthia Boykin, a security guard and friend of Ms. Murdock, Ms. Mudock did not return to work after winter break due to illness. 

Ms. Murdock began work at Lab as a direct employee and then continued as a contractor with ABM starting in 2002, according to an announcement sent to the community March 29.

Lower school secretary Loretta Palmer described Ms. Murdock as her best friend and said together they prioritized supporting others, regularly donating clothes, shoes and jewelry to those in need. 

“We would always meet up in the hall in the morning and pray for the family, share funny stories and talk about retiring,” Ms. Palmer said. “We ate lunch every day, and I’m really going to miss that and I’m going to miss her smile, her laughter and just her funny expressions when she always telling a funny story. I’m just going to miss all of that, and I’m still trying to process her being gone.”

Laboratory Schools Director Tori Jueds added to that sentiment, describing Ms. Murdock’s people-oriented nature, love of seeing students succeed and ability to spread kindness. 

“There was no way you could possibly have encountered her and her warmth and sincerity, and not have felt inspired to pass that along to the next person you met,” Ms. Jueds said. “I would see her in the morning or in the afternoon, and she would just renew my own commitment to kindness. I think she looked at the world with an approach that foregrounded love and appreciation. She was always sincere and always affirming, always positive. It was incredible, really.”

The kindness Ms. Murdock was constantly exhibiting and the laughter she brought to those around her remain in the hearts of the many students, faculty and staff she positively impacted, especially those of “her girls.”

“She was a good employee, she worked very hard, she took pride in her work that she did here at Lab,” Ms. Palmer said. “She was very considerate of other people and their families, very thoughtful, always a kind word to say about people. Like I said, she was a phenomenal person, and she’s gonna be sorely missed by all of us.”