Erin Semple Morrarty, 31, was a newlywed — having gotten married in March — who had just bought her first home with new husband, Brian Morrarty, and had recently landed her dream job, said her mother, Valerie Semple of Marietta.
But, what started as a small fender bender on her way to work Monday morning quickly turned tragic.
She got out of her car on a two-lane highway to exchange information with another driver when an SUV driven by a 24-year-old man struck her.
Semple described her daughter as sensitive, loving and caring.
“She’s always opening her home to others, never put herself first, always wanting to help others,” she said. “Playful, driven, ambitious, full of love. Heart as big as the outdoors. Always embracing her inner child, never afraid to try anything, an independent free-spirit, and slightly uncoordinated.”
Erin was born Feb. 17, 1982, at Danbury Hospital, daughter of David and Valerie (Testa) Semple. She was raised in Marietta and graduated from Pope High School with honors in 2000.
During her teen years, Erin was an active member of St. Ann’s Life Teen program in Marietta. In 2003, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Media Communications and a minor in international studies from Georgia College & State University.
During her time at GCSU, she wrote for the school newspaper, was active in many honor societies and clubs and was a member of the Gamma Sigma Sig sorority. Erin also had the opportunity to study abroad.
She interned at the Marietta Daily Journal and was offered a full-time reporting job at the Cherokee Tribune in Canton after graduation, then landed with Business Securities in Atlanta.
Moving to N.Y. and writing a novel
Erin moved to New York in 2005 to attend New York University. She graduated with honors, receiving a Master’s Degree in Magazine Publishing. During her media career, she worked for Food & Wine, Real Simple Magazine, Reader’s Digest and F & W Media.
Erin became a published author in 2006 with “His Wrath,” a novel about the lives of a group of teenage friends and acquaintances, one of whom ends up being a victim of date rape.
“It has the feel of authenticity, describing how real teenagers’ lives might unfold. The characters are distinctive and individual, and their inner motivations are explored quite skillfully,” wrote one reviewer on Amazon. “I recommend this book to anyone who would like to ‘walk on the teen side’ for a while and contemplate some of the challenges and darker aspects of today’s teenagers’ lives.”
Her current employer was National Shooting Sports Foundation in Newtown, Conn., where she worked as a web content manager.
Erin loved to travel, visiting 18 different countries. She was determined, resilient, driven, ambitious and fearless. Presently, she was working towards a second Master’s Degree in Counseling with hopes of earning a doctorate.
She and her husband were avid dart players. They competed together within the Western Connecticut Dart League C Division and the Westchester Putnam Dart League C Blue Division. Erin also had a love for penguins and daffodils.
Besides her husband of nine months, Brian, she leaves behind her parents, David and Valerie Semple; a brother, Matthew Semple, all of Marietta; maternal grandparents, Sal and Gloria Testa of Bethel; in-laws, Sandy and Michael Prebenna, Robert Morrarty and Stephen Morrarty; and many beloved aunts, uncles and cousins.
A funeral Mass will be Monday in Connecticut. A memorial service is planned for Jan. 8 at the Catholic Church of St. Ann in Marietta at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Erin’s memory for distribution to her favorite charities to:
Erin Morrarty Memorial
c/o Wells Fargo Bank
1 Eagle Road
Danbury, CT 06810