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Dawn Marie (Stanwood) Murnahan

March 17, 1968 ~ December 25, 2023 (age 55) 55 Years Old

Dawn Murnahan Obituary

Dawn Marie (Stanwood) Murnahan, passed away peacefully on Christmas Day, December 25, 2023, with her family by her side. Born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1968, in Newburyport Massachusetts, to Theodore Parker Stanwood, Sr. and Carole Frances (Furbush) Stanwood.

She was a graduate of Triton High School and went on obtain a BA, in Psychology, from the University of Massachusetts, Amhurst. Upon graduation, Dawn embarked on a journey in the Human Services field that would span over 35 years. Never was there a greater advocate and supporter for those suffering with mental illness than Dawn, whose passion and dedication to these folks was tireless. Dawn began as a mental health counselor and quickly climbed the ranks, holding management roles in various NorthShore agencies. She went on to oversee several residential programs while working for Northeastern Family Institute. She moved to Pennsylvania to build a life with her husband and children and worked in mobile crisis for Venango County. She returned to Massachusetts and began working for Eliot Community Human Services, where she would go on to obtain her LSW and become a Residential Director, overseeing five specialized and intensive programs. She lived by her personal motto, “We will change the world of Mental Health Services. People are people and love conquers most everything.”

She is preceded in death by her parents, Theodore Parker Stanwood, Sr. and Carole Frances (Furbush) Stanwood. She is survived by the love of her life, Everett “Sam” Murnahan with whom she shared 12 years of wedded bliss, her children, Desiree Phillips, and Kaitlin Murnahan, and four grandchildren, who knew her to be the best “GIGI,” Sy “Punky” Phillips, Damien Phillips, Draven Phillips and Evaleena Wonderling, her brother, Theodore Parker Stanwood Jr., her sister-in-law, Pauline (McGee) Stanwood, and their children, George McGee, and Cecelia McGee.

The world lost a beautiful soul, and her family finds peace in knowing she is reunited with her parents. Dawn will be remembered for her dedication to family and friends, her endless love for the work she did and the folks she served, verbose emails (she wanted you to have “all the facts”), her spirited discourse on all things music (Grateful Dead especially), amazing cooking, deep fondness for her 4 fur babies, Howard, Hazel, Gertie, and Bishop, boisterous get togethers with friends and co-workers at her favorite spot, The Jade, never shying away from a challenge or difficult case, and her incredibly generous and kind spirit, which knew no bounds.

Family and friends may call from 4:00 to 7:00PM on Wednesday January 3, 2024 at the Twomey, LeBlanc, & Conte Funeral Home 193 High St. Newburyport, MA 01950. Her graveside service will be held at 10:00AM on Thursday January 4, 2024 at Union Cemetery in Amesbury.

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Calling Hours
January 3, 2024

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Twomey, LeBlanc, & Conte
193 High Street
Newburyport, MA 01950

Graveside Service
January 4, 2024

10:00 AM
Union Cemetery
Haverhill Road
Amesbury, MA 01913


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