Eleanor M. Murdoch (nee Egan), Ph.D.


On Wednesday, November 11, 2020, Eleanor M. Murdoch (nee Egan), Ph.D. died from complications of Covid-19. Born in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia to Irish American/German American parents, she graduated from the famous Little Flower High School where she was first violin in the orchestra. She was married to Alfred O’Neill after high school. They raised three children Kate, Noreen, and Alfred. After a divorce, Eleanor attended Temple University where she got her B.S. and M.S. in Clinical Psychology. At Bryn Mawr College, she received a Ph.D. in Child Development after which she worked for Catholic Social Services as well as starting her own private practice in Chestnut Hill.

In 1973, she married Larry Murdoch and blended their families making them a family of seven.

She was a devoted civic servant, working for Catholic Social Services for nearly twenty years, and served on the boards of the Chestnut Hill Community Association and the Senior Center. When she moved to The Hill at Whitemarsh, she continued to play an active role on the scholarship committee for the employees and volunteered. Eleanor loved opera, travel, spy novels, being with friends and her family, especially her grandchildren.  A grandmother with forty years as a psychologist, she was always acutely aware of where they were as people and could not have been prouder of all of them. A natural host, with years of parties, and incredible taste made her an accomplished cook. Her husband, Larry Murdoch, was a lauded toast master and joke teller but Eleanor never learned that skill. But in so many things, they were a great team, so she really knew how to laugh. In fact, her commanding smile often was the first thing people noticed. She was a woman with a great appetite for life, endlessly exhilarated by travel and culture, and suspected by many, given her near obsession with female spies, a spy herself. This is under investigation.

Eleanor was preceded in death by her beloved husband Larry and daughter Noreen. She is survived by her brother Francis, her children Alfred and his children Rebecca (Adam) and Aaron; Kate (Joe) and children Greg (Mary Kelley) and Doug; Anne and children Libby, Caroline and Maddie; and Larry (Jan); and her much loved and enjoyed great grandchildren Archer, Marshall and Dezi.

Due to the pandemic the service will be private.

Memorial donations can be made to The Wistar Institute, Office of Institutional Advancement, 3601 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.