In Memory

Carolyn Murch (Rachel Corday)

Carolyn Murch (Rachel Corday)

Carolyn Imel Beane notified us of the passing of our classmate, Carolyn Murch.  The following obituary was in the Boulder (Colorado) Daily Camera.  We are very saddened by the passing of another of our dear friends from childhood.  


Rachel Corday (known to her Sunset High friends as Carolyn Murch), outstanding actress, playwright, author, teacher, and advocate for persons with the experience of mental illness…died April 1, 2015, in a hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii.  She had lived on the island of Molokai since 2004. She spent many of her last years caring for her dying mother.

Rachel is remembered as a "star" by her friends in Colorado, where she lived from the mid 80's until she moved to Hawaii. Whether she was performing in a play, directing one, writing or teaching, she had the talent and determination to rise to heights that left us in awe. Those heights included her amazing ability and willingness to use her lifelong struggles with serious health problems including depression and psychosis to help others understand and combat stigma. She also was a caring friend to many…stretching our imaginations, increasing our knowledge, and lifting our loads.

Her creativity and spirituality were the core of Rachel's life. She once said "I'm mostly an artist, and teacher of principles of art. I am most well, and most happy when I am being creative every day. Any excellence in my art comes from my spiritual faith." In 1977 she walked into a Unity church and found it "the first sensible signpost of my life."

A writer describing her work wrote, "Rachel is a teacher of wisdom, a lyrical poet, a creative artist, a guide to a deeper understanding, a healer of pain and a lover of the creative life force that is within us all and within everything." The word "mesmerizing" was often used in articles about her stage performances.

Highly educated, Rachel found her niche in her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado and her PhD in Expressive Arts Therapy from Summit University of Louisiana. Whether she was acting in, writing, or directing plays, she received kudos for her work. Her plays were produced in Honolulu, the San Francisco Bay area, Boulder, Denver, and the Creede Repertory Theatre. She wrote many books, including "The Summertime of Baily Lowell", "The Common Loon", "The Benningdon-Crank Nervous Hospital", "Haight Street", and "Just One Sparrow." Her work on behalf of helping people understand mental illness and especially psychosis included a series of audio tapes and booklets and a video called "Losing the Thread". These teaching tools were often bought by college departments training people to work with persons with mental illness.

During her time in Colorado, Rachel was a star in the National Alliance on Mental Illness' (NAMI CO) fight against stigma and for public understanding. She spoke to groups often and served on the boards of the state and local NAMIs. During a term as president of Boulder County NAMI, she worked successfully to bring Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) to the Boulder police department.
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08/30/16 06:55 PM #1    

Terry Schumacher

Thanks, Carolyn Imel Beane, for letting us know about Carolyn/Rachel's passing.  I spoke to a friend of Carolyn's named Lynn and she was very complimentary of our dear classmate, speaking of her creativity and all the books that Carolyn wrote.  According to Lynn, Carolyn lived on the Island of Molokai and then moved to Honolulu when the infection from a wound became more severe.  Lynn was not exactly sure whether or not the infection is what killed Carolyn.  Apparently she had a number of physical and mental difficulties during her lifetime.  I googled the name "Rachel Corday" and found some of the books she wrote and even a video entitled "Losing the Thread" for sale on  I enjoyed knowing Carolyn/Rachel during our high school years and especially remember how athletic she was during our years at Sunset.  Rest in peace, my friend.

08/31/16 12:02 PM #2    

Sue Liedtke

I am sorry to hear of Carolyn's passing. Though we had few highschool classes together and had different interests I saw her on the bus every day as she was part of the small group who attended 5th and 6th grade at West TV. My clearest memories of her are related to recess "work-up" ball games and playing softball in the street in front of her house. May she rest in peace after such a worthy life.


08/31/16 12:50 PM #3    

Bunny Sundin (Girt)

oh i so remember Carolyn------we were in Campfire girls together and shared some fun times with parties at her home----her mother was so sweet to all of us------We shared a PE class together and swimming---she then in high school shared with me some of her conflicts with life----a precious caring friend ---and so amazed at all she did for humanity in her life-------a true healer of the hurting---she so understood---we doubled dated one time--i went out with her brother David on that date------i often wondered where her life took her-------thank you Carolyn for letting us  know about her passing-----she can rest in peace now--so glad she touched my life and made me more aware of the world outside of my own-----Bunny Sundin Girt


08/31/16 01:34 PM #4    

Betty Hutchinson (Flad)

     Carolyn/Rachel certainly lived her life with passion and creativity.  I called her a few years ago while I was in Maui and made arrangements to take the ferry to Molokai to see her.  Unfortunately, her care giver called that morning to report that she was not well.  I am sad that I did not get to see her, but we did have a lovely conversation about many of her experiences.  The three things I remember most about Carolyn:  she was funny, she was althletic, she was creative.  Rest in Peace, Rachel/Carolyn.

Betty Hutchinson Flad

08/31/16 01:35 PM #5    

Kay Eastman (Watson)

Terry, thank you for this notification.  Carolyn was such a kind and gentle young woman.  We shared many classes together.  I remembered her beautiful blue eyes.  When she looked at you it was like she saw beyond the surface expression.  I have thought of her often over the years and am grateful to have this obituary to learn about her life contributions. 

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