The MOving Forward Golf Classic was established in 2006 all due to Maureen Perez’s passion and vision to raise money for sarcoma research at Moffitt Cancer Center.
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of Maureen “Mo” Murphy Perez. Mo was many, many things to many people, but to everyone who had the privilege of knowing her she was an inspiration. Regardless of how she was feeling she always had a smile on her face and always continued to Move Forward. She was a tireless volunteer and fund raiser right to the very end. It is her family’s wish that in lieu of flowers donations be made to:
Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation
12902 Magnolia Drive
Tampa, FL 33612
From everyone at the Amandalee Fund and Sarcoma Department at Moffitt Cancer Center we send our thoughts and prayers to Maureen’s entire family. God bless you Maureen, you will be missed.
April 3, 1970 – March 24, 2010
Maureen Lynn Murphy Perez was born in Miami, Florida. She graduated from North Miami Senior High School and earned her degree in Criminal Justice from Florida International University. The Adam Walsh case in Hollywood, Florida in 1981 touched her deeply and sparked her interest in law enforcement. The photo of Adam in his baseball uniform hauntingly resembled her younger brother. She was compelled to “catch bad guys” and started her quest as a North Miami Police Explorer in 1982. She worked summers as a lifeguard and was a certified scuba diver.
Soon after graduating from high school, she noticed a recruitment ad for Florida Marine Patrol Officers and decided to go for it. Despite her young age of eighteen and relative inexperience, she was accepted, completed her academy training and was soon cruising South Florida s waterways. She was authorized to carry a firearm, but too young to buy ammunition. Mo joined the State of Florida’s Insurance Fraud division in 1994, further honing her investigative skills.
In 1992 she met the love of her life, another FMP Officer named Carlos Perez. They were married in October of 1996. Always setting the bar higher she applied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1996. Carlos had applied to the Drug Enforcement Agency and upon their acceptance and completion of their respective training, the two of them were stationed in El Centro, California.
In 1998 they accepted positions in Puerto Rico for a three-year term in order to get closer to family and their Florida home. It was in Puerto Rico that her two sons, Nikolas and Sean were born in 2000 and 2001, respectively. In late 2001 they moved to Central Florida residing in Winter Springs. She was appointed the Joint Terrorism Task Force Coordinator for the Tampa Division and also volunteered as Employee Assistance Counselor and Hostage Negotiator.
Beginning in 2005 she coordinated the annual MOving Forward Charity Golf Tournaments in the Orlando area on behalf of the Amandalee Fund supporting Sarcoma research at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. She officially retired from the FBI in July 2009. Mo gives new meaning to the term, “Fighting Irish.” She fought from a very early age against an affliction that attempted to dampen her spirit and destroy her mobility but, rather served to increase her determination and resolve. Despite numerous surgeries on her knee, she played softball and was the only girl on the boy’s baseball team one year, because she didn’t get her medical release in time to rejoin her softball team. She was in marching band throughout junior and senior high school and drum major her senior year. When a recruiter questioned her ability to do the required leg press for the Marine Patrol because of the long scar running down the front of her leg, she replied “just watch me!”
Mo was as rare an individual as the disease that ultimately claimed her. Loving wife, mother, daughter, grand-daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, and advocate, she was intensely loyal, compassionate and caring. She was the first to call and offer assistance and support to anyone in need, especially if loss of a limb was involved. She will be carried in the hearts of her family and friends who have loved, adored and been inspired by her each and every day of her life.