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Gerri Murphy retires after 25 years
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Real estate agent Gerri Murphy is known for her giving attitude, whether it's the time she devotes to clients, the friendship she gives to her staff or the help and advice she gives to fellow professionals.

Murphy is retiring after 25 years in the field, including 20 years as co-owner of Coldwell Banker Gerri Murphy Realty on the square. Her staff is holding an open house reception for Murphy from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the office, 1123 Washington St.

"Gerry has had a very big, positive impact in the Realtor community and business community in Covington," said co-owner Lee Rowell. "For a lot of people who worked here over the years, she's been kind of like a mother to all of us, a mother who tries to guide us in the right direction."

She's known as Mama Gerri around the office, and her longtime secretary Melanie White described her as a great leader and mentor.

"We couldn't have asked for a more dedicated broker," White said. "She's always had a great positive, upbeat attitude. She's always been more of a friend to all of us than a boss."

Her friendly nature didn't prevent her from being a stickler for details, honed during her years as a piano teacher.

"She was very particular. Just as she could hear a single wrong note played, she had the way with contracts. If her agents didn't do everything to a "T" she would question it," Rowell said. "That's good in this industry, because sometimes there's not a lot of that. She was very precise with contracts and contract law and ethics."

Starting out with three employees in 1992, Murphy and Rowell have expanded to 56 agents and two offices, buying out another agency in the process.

"It was the enjoyment and love of real estate that drew her to the field. She was always trying to help people find their dream homes," Rowell said.

Murphy should have no problem staying active in retirement as she and husband, Ralph, are always on the go, constantly traveling.

"She's a positive influence to all of us at any age, because she keeps us going by staying active," Rowell said.

Murphy's retirement comes at an appropriate time, as she'll celebrate her birthday Friday.