Fundraiser to benefit school custodian after death of husband

Anathea Carrigan, Reporter

Laboratory Schools community members have created and continue to contribute to a fund to benefit Delores Murdock, a school custodian whose husband died April 15. 

According to the fundraising page, Hunter K. Murdock Jr. was a professional truck driver who, with Mrs. Murdock, cared for four children and 16 grandchildren through 48 years of marriage. 

College counselor Melissa Warehall created the page after learning of Mr. Murdock’s death. She felt compelled to help out Mrs. Murdock, who has been a member of the Lab community for the last 19 years, and hoped that others would feel the same way. 

“I wanted to help Mrs. Murdock in a practical way. If we were all still at school, in each other’s presence, I am sure the school community would have gotten a collection together to help Delores and her family in their time of loss and need, as has happened before at Lab,” Ms. Warehall said, “Because we are scattered, I knew it would be difficult for faculty and staff who wanted to help Delores to do so, so I started the GoFundMe, with Delores’ permission, and in consultation with her dear friend, fellow Lab employee Loretta Palmer, as well as her adult daughters.”

Mrs. Warehall’s personal experiences with the recent death of her husband were also an inspiration to her plans to organize a donation.

“Having lost my husband unexpectedly recently, I know that there are expenses related to losing a spouse that can become burdensome, and I didn’t want Delores to have to deal with those issues, especially while we are in remote learning,” Ms. Warehall said. “When I lost my husband unexpectedly at the start of this school year, another faculty member, math teacher Ms. Anderson, started a GoFundMe to help me. If it had not been for the assistance of the Lab community, I would not have been able to pay the burial expenses. I am eternally grateful to Ms. Anderson and the Lab community that supported me in my time of dire need.”

Mrs. Warehall described her relationship with Mrs. Murdock as one full of love and support. 

“She has been a constant presence during my 13 years at Lab, and she has a beautiful spirit that I look forward to encountering whenever I can. I miss seeing her and giving and getting hugs,” Mrs. Warehall said. 

As of June 3, 65 people have contributed, raising a total of $4,870. This greatly surpassed Ms. Warehall’s goal of $1,000. 

That figure is a testament to how much the Lab School community appreciates Mrs. Murdock and desires to support her.”

— Melissa Warehall

“I chose the amount because I thought it was a number that would provide the kind of help I was hoping for. I had no idea how much would be raised — it’s at almost $5,000 now! That figure is a testament to how much the Lab School community appreciates Mrs. Murdock and desires to support her,” Mrs. Warehall said.

The comment section of the page is filled with words of support and praise for Mrs. Murdock, and Ms. Warehall also encourages community members to express their sympathies, even if they cannot make a donation. 

“Anyone who wants to show Mrs. Murdock their appreciation can write to her, as I have her home address,” Mrs. Warehall said, “I know she would appreciate hearing from the students who are such an important part of her life.”