Beatrice “ELAINE” Murphree

Beatrice “ELAINE” Murphree passed from this life peacefully, surrounded by her family on August 5, 2023. Elaine was the only daughter, born to Willie Beatrice Dial Riddick and Martin Van Burean Riddick in Dyersburg, Tennessee, December 20, 1929.

She is preceded in death by her parents, 5 brothers; her son, Michael D. Smith; step-daughter, Bonnie R. Murphree Danley and stepson, Doyle R. Murphree, Jr.

She is survived by her son, Randall I. Smith (Amy) of St. Amant, Louisiana; her daughters, Corliss Smith Bennett from Santa Fe, Texas and youngest daughter, Marti Murphree Kennedy (Keith) from Alvin, Texas; nine grandchildren, Mary Shaheen, Amber Yokum (John), Erin Menotti, Claire Shaheen (Chris), Beau Smith (Camille), Sylvia Thornton (Trey), Sabrina Noey Tippey (Jeff), Jennifer Murphree, Tyler Kennedy (Val), Austin Kennedy (Kyndal) and Rachel Murphree, seventeen great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Elaine grew up in a cotton town, Steele, Missouri. She loved to tell the story of out-picking her 5 brothers in the field while dragging her oldest son, Michael on the cotton sack so she could pick her quota for the day. Most of her earnings went to the family.

She left Missouri at 21 years of age and headed for Galveston, Texas with her first husband, Harry Lee “KAT” Smith (deceased). Her first job was as a hostess at the Turf Grill, while working she entered beauty school and graduated. Once getting her license she moved to Hitchcock and opened her own salon business working out of her house. During those 30 years she started buying houses on the mainland and started a residential rental company, with her then husband, Doyle Robert Murphree, Sr. (deceased).

From that point she bought some land, developed, and constructed custom homes in League City. Up until the very end she was still running her business with the help of her daughters and son-in-law.

She was a member of Bay Area Church in League City for 47 years where she was very much a part of the early development. She lead classes, sang in the choir and shared Jesus with most she came in contact with. She was a Past Worthy Matron of The Eastern Star, Hitchcock Chapter.

In her honor, a visitation will be held on Friday, August 11, 2023 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at Crowder Funeral Home in Dickinson, Texas. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2023 at 10:00am at Bay Area Church in League City. Interment will follow at Forest Park Cemetery in Webster, Texas.

Pallbearers will be Beau Smith, Tyler Kennedy, Austin Kennedy, John Yokum, Kade Smith and Ron Riddick.

She will be missed dearly by her family and all who loved her.



  1. Our most sincere condolences to all the family. Elaine was the most loving and caring lady that we ever had the privilege to meet. May God keep her in his loving arms and give strength to those left behind. Sending love and prayers from your Canadian family. Glenda & Denis

    Glenda Grannary
  2. I know our Lord is your comfort and strength in walking out the loss of Mrs. Elaine. She was a dear & precious soul! She was loved by our whole family. She was strong; one of the hardest working women I have ever known! I spent many mornings eating biscuits & gravy at her table on my way to school. Praying for all.

    Robin Miller
  3. Elaine was one of the sweetest ladies I have know. She was a big part of my Mother in Law’s growth as a beleiver. Elaine was her Sunday School Class Teacher at BAFBC.
    When I started taking Mom to church Elaine was one of the first to welcome me. Always willing to do what she could to help anyone. Elaine will be missed by many. Praying you feel God’s loving arms around you as you go through this season of life. She was a true light for the Lord. Let your light shine among men.

    Mary Nell Dornan
  4. Awe. Keith and Marti and family. Even though your hearts ache with this loss, we can all be rest assured that we know where Elaine is right now. Such a wonderful life this classy lady lead.

    Ron and Mary Knopp
  5. Amazing woman with a tremendous legacy. She was always first to hug my neck and ask how I was doing, and always asked about my girls. She led from the front of the pack and her family that follows is a true reflection of who she really was. I know she has taken over the mansion building in heaven already and is lining people out! Will miss her dearly.

    Blake Rogers
  6. Amazing women with a beautiful family!

    AJ and Lynn Amato
  7. Elaine was our mother’s (Barbara Barnes Martin) cousin and best friend. We grew up hearing many stories involving Elaine’s kindness and generosity. Our deepest sympathies to Elaine’s family. Marsha and Mona Martin

    Marsha and Mona Martin
  8. My sincerest condolences for you and your family at this time. You have my deepest sympathy and unwavering support. Wishing you peace, comfort and lots of love at this time of sorrow. I’ll keep you and the family in my prayers. Mother will always be in our hearts ❤️

    Diamond Reese
  9. I remember Elaine with her Red hair when we went to First Baptist Church in Hitchcock. She always had a wonderful smile. I also remember in the late 60’s when we had Good ole Days in Hitchcock. I entered the Beauty Queen contest and Elaine wanted to fix my hair for me(free). She fixed it up real big (adding a hair piece) and pretty . She did good. I was 1st runner up. When I started working she fixed my hair for $3.00 a week(adding a few red tints). We have happy memories with your family and glad we were able to see her occasionally in the last few years. Bettie Ann and Betty James

    Bettie James Cheek
  10. Mrs. Murphree was my landlady. I met her when I was a young mother looking for a place to stay. She was the most sweet, kind, and understanding person. I told her I couldn’t afford the security deposit. She said honey don’t worry about it I will work with you. So we did the application and she called me later on that evening telling me that my background cleared and I have a house. She kept her word and helped me and did not pressure me at all. I couldn’t believe I had actually found someone that cared if myself and my children had a place to stay. When she would call me to make sure everything was okay, she was just as sweet as ever.

    Sending prayers and comfort from our family to yours. She will be missed dearly❤️

    Temisha Casimere
    • Our sincere condolences to the whole family. We’re so sorry for your loss and are thinking of you during this difficult time.

      Erica & Jarred Perl
  11. Corliss,
    I am so sorry to hear of your mother passing. My sincerest sympathies are with you and your family. I read her obituary and she was born very close to where I live in Tennessee. What a small world.
    God bless you and bring comfort knowing she is home in heaven.
    Love Lori James Parker.

    Lori Parker
  12. Corliss, My prayers are with you and your family.

    May God bless you all.

    Marleta Balke Payne

    Marleta Payne

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