FORMER FLORIDA KEYS COMMISSIONER SYLVIA MURPHY PASSES AWAY AT 86

Nuñez visits Keys, recounts legislative victories - Jared Moskowitz, Jeanette Núñez, Ron DeSantis posing for the camera - Public Relations
During a visit to Marathon, Monroe County Mayor Sylvia Murphy named Nunez an Honorary Conch. CONTRIBUTED

Longtime Upper Keys resident and former Monroe County Commissioner Sylvia Murphy passed away on Saturday morning. She was 86. 

Murphy spent much of her life serving the public between her years as an EMT with Monroe County Emergency Medical Services, where she retired in 1996, and two decades with the Tavernier Volunteer Fire Department. 

She was elected Monroe County Commission’s District 5, which serves North Key Largo and portions of Tavernier, in 2006. She kept serving and running for reelection in the years that followed until she decided to retire in November 2020. 

At the Dec. 8 , 2021 BOCC meeting, the current board passed a resolution acknowledging Sylvia Murphy’s service as a county commissioner and proclaiming her as mayor emeritus and goodwill ambassador for the Florida Keys. From left: Commissioner Holly Raschein, Commissioner Michelle Coldiron, Murphy, Mayor David Rice and Vice Mayor Craig Cates. MONROE COUNTY BOCC/Contributed

“At 86, was I going to be a county commissioner at 90? Come on,” Murphy said during a sitdown interview with the Keys Weekly in December 2021

Murphy’s commitment to the job and Florida Keys residents was recognized by fellow commissioners, as she was named mayor emeritus on Dec. 8, 2021. She joined Wilhelmina Harvey as the only two mayor emeritus. 

Murphy told the Keys Weekly one of her proudest accomplishments surrounded Key Largo’s Rowell’s Park at Mile Marker 104, bayside. 

“I loved every minute of those 14 years,” she said, referring to her time as a commissioner in an interview with Keys Weekly in December 2021.

Jim McCarthy is a Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, mixed martial arts and golf. He loves to hit the links and play some softball with his Make A Play team. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.