Many people think they had the best mom, but that honor is ours. Ceci Murphy (Songer, sometimes) was an absolute delight; kind, with a ready smile, twinkling eye, and a quietly wicked sense of humor.
She graduated from Bishop Diego High School, class of 1965, then attended SBCC and USF, earning a teaching certificate that she never used. Raised by a single mother, Ceci longed for a large family – ideally nine boys to comprise a baseball team – and settled happily for three daughters: Katey, Renee, and Sarah.
Ceci was an artist by trade (graphic) and by nature. She spent many years at Bernie’s Friday Night Adult Education ceramics class, could render a lovely watercolor or charming sketch seemingly without effort, and inadvertently gave at least two of her daughters a minor complex of art inferiority.
After divesting herself of a marriage, Ceci blossomed. She switched careers and became an escrow officer at Lawyer’s Title; bought her own home and painted the exterior herself; fulfilled a lifelong dream to travel to Europe, especially Paris; trained for a marathon at 55; completed a triathlon in her 60s; yet continued to be on call for friend, mom, and grandma duties at all times.
Ceci left Santa Barbara in 2007 and lived in Maryland, Hawaii, and San Francisco to be close to family. Dementia flirted with her for years, but despite hitting her in earnest in 2017, Ceci never lost her cheerful disposition, her roll-with-it attitude, and willingness to try just about anything.
Ceci is survived by her three daughters Katey Edwards, Renee Songer, and Sarah Songer; grandchildren Claire, Lily, and Owen Edwards; son-in-law Jeremy Edwards; best friend Maureen Loster; and many others.
In lieu of flowers, please visit someone with dementia, give a caregiver a break, or check in on an old friend. It might not be easy but your kindness will be appreciated.
There will be an outdoor memorial for Ceci on Sunday, July 31 from 2-5pm at 3003 Serena Road, Santa Barbara. Friends of the family are welcome to come reminisce and mourn with joy. Masks optional but encouraged.