St. Philip’s College Loses Oldest Alumnus

September 21, 2022

SPC Marketing & Strategic Communications


Gertha Lockett Murphy, born May 20, 1913, in Goodwill, Texas, passed away on Sept. 20, 2022. She was the oldest living alumnus of St. Philip’s College and Alamo Colleges District (ACD).

Murphy was born in a rural community in Washington County, the daughter of farmers and the granddaughter of emancipated slaves. She attended St. Philip’s College in the 1930s and graduated in 1936.

She worked in civil service for 27 years at Kelly Air Force Base. At the age of 60, she earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from the University of the Incarnate Word. She taught in Harlandale Independent School District.

In 2019, the college celebrated Murphy’s 106th birthday with a party hosted by SPC President Dr. Adena Williams Loston. ACD Chancellor Mike Flores, SPC employees and Murphy’s loved ones.

In 2020, more than 100 cars participated in a car parade to wish her happy birthday. The parade included the San Antonio Fire Department, San Antonio Police Department and Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

Murphy was an active alumnus. She has met every one of the college’s presidents, including President Emeritus Artemisia Bowden.

Funeral Services for Gertha Lockett Murphy will be held on Saturday, October 1, 11:00 AM at Mount Zion First Baptist Church in San Antonio.