Joan Allon Murphy

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March 31, 1952 ~ December 26, 2022

Joan A. Murphy, 70, Brandon, died Monday, December 26, 2022, at her home, following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Visitation with family present will be 5 -7 pm, Thursday, December 29, 2022, at the Brandon Baptist Church.  Funeral Services will be 1pm, Friday, December 30, also at Brandon Baptist Church.  Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Sioux Falls. In order to view live, go to YouTube and type in “Brandon Valley Baptist Church” and click to view live. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of the following in Joan’s honor.

Joan Allon Kerslake was born in Sioux Falls on March 31, 1952, to John and Vivenne (Munson) Kerslake. She grew up in Sioux Falls where she was involved in Central Baptist Church and attended Mark Twain and Patrick Henry public schools, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1970. She also attended and graduated from Augustana College, where she was involved in the athletic department. She began her career as a Physical Education and Health teacher at Axtell Park, and also worked at the YMCA, was an athletic trainer, and was a racquetball pro at Woodlake Racquet Club. She then moved on to the Sioux Falls Gymnastics Club where she was head coach and business manager.

Joan married Dan Murphy in 1980. She worked as a head gymnastics coach at Brandon Valley High School and raised her son, Matthew, retiring from coaching in 1994. She enjoyed racquetball, swimming, travel, reading, biking, going out with friends, working with kids, and being part of various Bible studies. She loved Jesus, the church, her family, and her friends.

Joan loved to volunteer, especially with kids and in church, and touched many lives while involved with Girls Club, VBS, Sunday School, AWANA (serving as the Commander for many years at BV Baptist Church), and various church ministry teams. Joan was someone people found easy to talk to and a good listener. She put those skills to work as a Dawson McAllister Hopeline Counselor, Billy Graham Crusade Counselor, MOPS, and Teen MOPS Mentor, and she mentored several girls in the Brandon Valley School District over the years. She also worked as a Red Cross Health & Safety Instructor, chiropractic assistant, and tutoring several great kids. A few years ago, Joan welcomed Maddie, one of the girls she had been tutoring, into her home for several months. Joan also had a heart for those who were serving or had served in the military and enjoyed being involved with Warrior 180. She especially enjoyed handing out stars and listening to the stories of the soldiers she met both locally and while traveling.

Joan had a deep Christian faith. She was deeply involved in church ministry. She was part of many Bible Studies, small groups, and prayer ministries.  Recently, she was thrilled to be a part of Central Church’s frontline prayer ministry on Saturday evenings. Many of her friends described her as the most significant prayer warrior they knew. Her deepest desire would be that each and every one of you would put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. After many years of fighting cancer, Joan was taken into the arms of her Heavenly Father, passing peacefully in her sleep on December 26, 2022.

Joan is survived by her son, Matthew Murphy; brother, Wayne Kerslake; sister-in-law, Patty Hollenbeck; nephews and nieces, Shawn (Mardee) Hollenbeck, Jay (Jody) Hollenbeck, and Christopher (Jessica) Kerslake, and Katie (Andy) Abernethy; grandnieces and grandnephews, Brandi (Ethan) McDowell, Jaydn (JD) Kirwan, Blaire Hollenbeck, Aluxyn Hollenbeck, Anna Abernethy, Elise Kerslake, Bethany Abernethy, Sammy Kerslake, and Ollie Abernethy.

Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Dan; her parents, John and Vivenne (Munson) Kerslake; grandparents, Ed and Jenny Munson, and William and Rose Parent; sister-in-law, Gayle Kerslake; and nephew, Andrew Kerslake.

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  • Nancy Crockett says:

    Rest in Peace my dear prayer partner and Sister in Christ. Until we meet again.

  • Beth says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
    Hugs and Prayers
    Love The Bolanders Sherri, Beth, Brady and Blaine

  • Dr. Carleton & Judy Holt says:

    We were both blessed and privileged to know and work with Joan while we were at Brandon Baptist Church and Brandon Valley Schools. Joan’s contributions were so numerous and benefited so many young people and adults in the community. She will be missed. Our sincere condolences to all of the family and to the community.

  • Jeff Hastings says:

    Joan was a force to be reckoned with for sure. She totally knocked us off our feet when we met her. Our 3week plan to work in Brandon quickly excelled by Joan to nearly 8weeks. She was driven, passionate and filled with Jesus. Her absence will truly be felt in our ministry and the Brandon/Sioux Falls communities and local ministries will not easily replace her.

    Our prayers are lifted for Matthew – such a sweet young man with the heart of God. May the Lord lead you into a ministry of light in this world.

    Jeff & Criss Hastings

    Warrior 180 Foundation

  • James Karstens says:

    Joan,-I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to know you beyond our years at Lincoln High School. You sat behind me for a few years in our Homeroom class, yet we were both quite shy, the class was only 10 or 15 minutes long, and we never became acquainted until our 50th High School Reunion. I learned to admire your internal fortitude, your caring empathy and your deep Spiritual Faith. Such an inspiraton! One of your Prayer Warriors. James Karstens

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