“Part of the Whidbey Institute’s path is to help people find their own authentic center point, the place in themselves where they are able to be at ease, to be resilient, to be flexible, and to be at peace.” —Joel Shrut

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Charlie Murphy Memorial

September 1, 2016


To reserve lodging, click here.

In Loving Memory


“Those who do good work in the world throw the best parties” ~ Charlie Murphy 

A CELEBRATION— September 1, 6 PM

A few days before Charlie passed away, he let me know how he wanted his life celebrated. He wished to have a space created for ceremony, where his family and friends could come together and express their grief. He also wanted to have a PARTY! If you knew Charlie, you know he loved a good party, and he was often the last one to leave. 

We hope you will join us for a ceremony in his honor followed by some serious fun. We’ll have dancing, an open-mic, arts activities and lots of joyous laughter, all in honor of the man who knew how to have a good time.  —Eric Mulholland


We have the Whidbey Institute to ourselves all day Thursday until mid-day on Friday. Rooms and camping are available at the Institute on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The memorial service will begin at 6 pm, but you are welcome to arrive anytime during the day to help set up the event, enjoy walking on the trails, spend time with friends, or make decorations in the art barn. Because of the challenges of handling parking for such a large event, please plan to arrive by 5 pm or earlier if possible.

The schedule: 

9 am-noon: Set up the space; tents, chairs, the art barn

noon-6 pm: Help make decorations and commemorative art, and enjoy the grounds.

5-5:30 pm: Arrival

6-7:30 pm: Memorial Service

7:30-8:30 pm: Mingling, Dancing, and making art 

8:30-9:30 pm: Open Mic: Celebrating Charlie through poetry, song, and music

9:30 pm on: The party continues


The Open Mic will be emceed by PYE Global senior trainer Nadia Chaney. Because of the large number of FABULOUS, creative individuals in our circles, we may not have time for everyone to share. The pieces should honor Charlie in some way and be 3 minutes or less. If you’d like to perform, please email Nadia. Let Nadia know who you are, your connection to Charlie, and what you’d like to do. She will curate the offerings ahead of time and will let you know by August 28th whether you’ll be performing. Nadia will be looking for variety of pieces performed by people from various parts of Charlie’s life, so if you are not included, please don’t take it personally. It’s simply a matter of time.  



One of the more beautiful aspects of the institute is its location. Located on 100 acres of meadow and forest in Clinton WA, it is home to wildlife, thoughtfully constructed buildings and well managed trails and gardens. As a way of maintaining peace and beauty, the institute has limited parking near the main campus. We strongly encourage you to arrive early and CARPOOL as parking is limited.

The Whidbey Institute is located on the South End of Whidbey Island, twenty miles plus a ferry ride north of Seattle. For directions click here.

Coming from Seattle:

Ferries leave every half hour from Mukilteo to Clinton, but the ferry lines are likely to be long in the afternoon. You should plan to arrive at the Mukilteo Ferry by 3 or 3:30 pm.

Walk ons: If you are coming just for the evening, you can park your car in the paid area near the light house park in Mukilteo and walk on the ferry. We will have a van waiting for walk ons for the 4 pm, 4:30 pm, 5 pm and 5:30 pm ferries.

Look for our van parked behind the buses on the Clinton Ferry dock.

Public Transport from Seattle: You can take the 4:05 Sounder Train from King Street Station to Mukilteo, and walk quickly to the ferry. You’ll need to stay overnight on Whidbey, and you can take the 7am ferry back to Mukilteo to catch the 7:25am train back to Seattle on Friday morning. (If you’re planning to do this, please let peggy@pyeglobal.org know.)



There are a limited number of rooms and campsites at the Institute available to rent on the nights of August 31 and September 1. The cost is $60 per person, per night for rooms and $15 per night for camping ($66.42 and $16.61 after tax). There are only a handful of single rooms, mostly double rooms (two twin beds), and one triple (three twin beds). If you want to stay onsite, please sign up ASAP. We will give priority to people who are staying both nights. To reserve a room click here.  If you are staying Wednesday night, please plan to arrive at the Whidbey Institute at 6 pm or later.

For local hotels and B and B’s check out the Langley Chamber of Commerce website. 



Food: Because we are expecting a large turn out, we are respectfully requesting your participation in party fare. By way of a gift to celebrate Charlie and as a contribution to the good time he wants us all to have, please bring an easy, elegant hors d’oeuvre that can be shared on a napkin or small paper plate. Charlie loved to see what interesting foods people created for parties. Whether savory or sweet, he loved to sample a variety of flavors with a good glass of red wine.

Beverages: We’d also appreciate your bringing a beverage for the drinks table. Wine, beer or soft drinks will happily be savored among us. 

For your ease, bring your offerings to the Institute dining room when you arrive. Because we do not have access to the kitchen, please cover your food to keep it protected. And be sure you remember to take home your serving plate, tray or container.   

If you are visiting from afar, here are some suggestions of places to purchase tasty morsels: 

  • The Star Store or the tipsy Gourmet in Langley
  • Pickles Deli in Ken’s Corner
  • The Goose Supermarket in Bayview
  • Payless Foods in Freeland. 



A few housekeeping details and requests: 

Clean-up: We expect the party to go late, and we know that with many people comes many used cups, utensils, and plates. We ask that you participate in helping to keep the place tidy. We will have some teams in place to help with breakdown and clean up of the event, but if you depart before the festivities end, please put your dishes and garbage in the designated places.

Bathrooms: The grounds of the Institute are certainly large enough for us to be there but there are limited bathrooms and a sensitive septic system. We will have port-a-potties available to alleviate the stress on the systems in place. Please use them as your first choice.



We look forward to seeing you on September 1st and thank you for all the love and well wishes you have shared with me and each other over the days since Charlie’s passing. We hope this event will be one to remember and that each of you will arrive in the spirit of celebration and tender remembrance.  


September 1, 2016