Obituary: Janet Dunn Murphy of Norwalk

Janet Dunn Murphy of Norwalk passed on February 8, 2018 with her husband and daughter at her side.

She was born in Stamford on January 30, 1940 to Joseph Dunn and Helen Gaffney Dunn.

She is survived by her husband of almost 53 years, Frank, and her daughter, Kara. She is also survived by her sister, Carole Tyler, her sisters-in-law, Dorothy Aruza, Gloria Murphy, Kathleen Brooks, and brother-in-law, Scott Brooks. She is survived by several cousins, nieces, and nephews. She is predeceased by her brother, Kevin Dunn.  

An accomplished ballroom dancer, Janet won competitions in foxtrot and tango at the Harvest Moon Ball at Madison Square Garden, hosted by Bob Hope and Ed Sullivan. Janet and her partner performed in Los Angeles, CA for the “Dance Masters of America,” hosted by the legendary Gene Kelly. Guest appearances on numerous live television shows included “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Arthur Murray Dance Studio.” After competitive dancing, Janet trained and taught competitive ballroom dancers in Connecticut and New York.

She was employed by the American Heart Association, and the Parish Office of St. Thomas More Church in Darien, where she was a member of the choir for eleven years. She is a present parishioner at St. John’s Church, a member of the Darien Community Association, and a former member of the Shore and Country Club. She volunteered for many activities in the community and at both churches. Her willingness to provide help and comfort to those in need, particularly the sick and  elderly, is notable.  

She expressed her creativity through art, interior and landscape design. She studied painting and drawing with a local artist and completed course work at Norwalk Community College. Her garden was her canvas, designing formal gardens at her home. She enjoyed visiting historic gardens and homes.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 11:00 am at St. John’s Church, 1986 Post Road, Darien, CT. Internment will follow at Spring Grove Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the National Trust for Historic Preservation ( or the Closer to Free Fund for Smilow Cancer Hospital (