Cynthia Kathleen Murphy
Teacher of the Deaf
Cynthia Kathleen Murphy, 61, an educator of the deaf in Washington and California, died Sept. 22 of cancer at her home in Carlsbad, Calif. Before moving to California in 1984, she lived in Washington.
Ms. Murphy was born in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and lived in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Charleston, W.Va., as a child. She won a scholarship to Catholic University as a National Merit Scholar and graduated in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. She received a master's degree in history from Catholic in 1970 and did additional graduate studies at Trinity University in Washington and at Johns Hopkins University.
She began her teaching career at the old Langley Junior High School in Washington in 1966. In 1968, she founded a preschool at Holy Name Elementary School in Washington, where she taught for several years. She also became a lecturer in history at Gallaudet University in the early 1970s.
In 1975, after receiving a certificate in Montessori education, she taught social studies at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf on the Gallaudet campus. She was an early advocate of computer and video education and also was a teacher trainer at the university's education graduate school.
Ms. Murphy left Gallaudet in 1984 to become the founding teacher and education director of the Tripod School, a school for deaf children in Hollywood, Calif. She worked there until 1999, when she moved to the San Diego area. She taught deaf and hearing children in the San Diego public school system from 1999 to 2005.
She enjoyed gardening, reading mystery novels and working crossword puzzles.
Her marriage to Leon LeBuffe ended in divorce.
Survivors include two children, Claire LeBuffe of Carlsbad and Michael LeBuffe of College Station, Tex.; her mother, Doris Murphy of Pompano Beach, Fla.; four brothers; and two grandchildren.