Credit: Bill Moore

Alelia Murphy was born July 6, 1905. She is the last living of 12 siblings. Her immediate family consists of two children, Frederick and Rose; three granddaughters, Annette, Nefer and Crystal; and six talented great-grandchildren, Dawayad, Taquan, Heru-Ahkety, Saut, Seba and Naiya.

Murphy was born in Grifton, N.C., where she attended college, and then moved to New York City, where she married Furd Murphy and enjoyed 27 years of a happy marriage, until he preceded her in death. She has resided in Harlem for more than 60 years, and her favorite hobby was dancing. One of her favorite clubs was the Savoy Manor, located in Harlem.

During Murphy’s youthful years, she was a very independent, active woman and believed that if you wanted to have anything in life you had to strive for it. Her favorite slogan, which she always said to her three generations of children and which kept them inspired, is “There’s no time to sleep. Sleep when you’re dead!”

Murphy made hats by hand, sewed, baked and cooked delicious soul food meals. She even managed to pay her own bills until she was 90 years old. She always managed to keep herself busy, just to maintain her independence.

She was involved in several organizations, such as Queen Esther and Eastern Stars, and was a member of President Obama’s Presidential Partners. She also volunteered her time and became the secretary for Taft Rehab Executive Board, as well as holding the chairperson position for Tenant Patrol in NYCHA to assure the tenants’ safety.

She is a woman with style, grace, a great sense of humor and a youthful spirit, and she has love and compassion for all those who cross her path. She is a woman who speaks her mind.

Murphy experienced a life-changing event that occurred in her apartment while she was hanging curtains. She fell off a ladder and broke her hip. The serious injury caused her to lose some of her independence and forced her to adapt to a new way of living.

Even though she faces everyday life challenges, she continues to keep her faith and belief in God. With the love and support from her family, it keeps her determined to continue on.

Murphy reads her faith magazine and is a member of the United House of Prayer for All People.

God has blessed her for almost 111 years and will continue so she can live and enjoy her family. “God has been good to me!” she declared. Her secret to longevity is to “Obey God and treat people right.”