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Monday, 17 February 2014 13:51

Mary Lawrence Phillips Murray

By | Obituaries

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Mary Lawrence Phillips Murray, 93, formerly of Lawrence Street, died Wednesday, February 12 at Wesley Health Care Center.

Mary was born on Christmas Day, 1920, the youngest of eight children to the late William A. and Rose M. Lawrence Phillips. She was the widow of John Reed Murray, whom she married October 6, 1945.

Survivors include her children, John Michael (Susanne), Dennis Neil (Margaret), Stephen James (Nicola) and Anne Louise Morse (Jeffrey); nine grandchildren, Sean Michael Murray, Meaghan Anne Murray, Michael Reed Morse, Sarah Susanne Murray, Jessica Alton Morse, Emily Rose Morse, Esther Reed Ramirez, Reed Arthur Murray and Anna Marielle Murray. To her many loving nieces and nephews, she is their beloved and great Aunt Mary.

In addition to her parents and husband, she is predeceased by her seven siblings, John F. (Jack) Phillips, Walter J. Phillips, Paul J. Phillips, Helen “Honey” Phillips, Dorothy Phillips Carroll, William A. Phillips and Eugene E. Phillips.

A graduate of Saratoga Springs High School’s class of 1937 and Skidmore College School of Nursing class of 1941 (Magna Cum Laude), she followed graduation as a Nursing Instructor during World War II at the Adelphi College School of Nursing. After marriage, she worked as a floor nurse at Saratoga Hospital and as a Public Health Nurse for Saratoga County. For 20 years, Mary was a school nurse/teacher at South Colonie Central High School, where she retired as a New York State Teacher of the Year in 1975.

Mary was very active in her community, including being a member of the Skidmore College Alumni Club, Saratoga Springs Historical Society, Yaddo Garden Association, Heritage Garden Club, Katrina Trask Garden Club, Thymely Herb Club and the Academy of Life Long Learning. A long time usher at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and a devout communicant of the Church of St. Peter, she was also a member of at least two card clubs.

Always a good neighbor, an on-the-go socializer, a voracious reader of books, a merry quipster and a very confident “no pencils allowed” crossword puzzle solver, she was a pack rat and appreciator of all the arts.


Mary preferred to believe she was of “French extraction”. However, she was unable to verify any of her ancestors were indeed French, and in fact, overwhelming proof indicates the vast majority of her progenitors were Irish Catholic bog trotters! May God hold her in the palm of His hand.

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