Mary Patricia Murphy
November 01, 1929 – June 04, 2021
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After a long illness which she courageously met with inspiring faith, unending patience, and a continuing joy that radiated through her glorious smiles, Mary Patricia Murphy died on Friday, June 4, 2021, at three o’clock in the afternoon. “Patty” to her father and “Tish” to her sisters, Pat was the beloved and devoted wife of the late Gerald Murphy; daughter of the late William Grammell and Mary Agnes (Mamie) McCartney; daughter-in-law of the late Mary Ellen and Patrick Murphy; mother to Terry and her husband Michael; grandmother to Sean and Stephen; sister to Phyllis and the late Albert Roy, Barbara and the late Don Molloy, and Elizabeth and her husband Larry Smith; sister-in-law to Rose (and the late Gordon) Harding, Veronica Murphy, the late Aileen Murphy, as well as the late Nicholas, Fred, Francis, Leo, and Harold Murphy, and their spouses; and aunt to her many well-loved nieces and nephews. Greatly loved by her many friends and her community, Pat selflessly devoted every minute of her life to loving God and everyone who was blessed to cross her path.
A fifth-generation Oakvillian, she was born over the family men’s wear store at 249 Lakeshore Road East on November 1, 1929, three days after Black Tuesday and more importantly, and very appropriately, on the Feast of All Saints. She made lifelong friends at St. Mary’s School and Oakville High School, after which she used her talent for math in an accounting career at the Bank of Commerce on Lakeshore Road and as a bookkeeper for a variety of businesses in the GTA. But this did not stop her from continuing to help her parents with their store. She had enormous energy and a fearlessness when it came to hard work; she devoted every day to the service of others and, to paraphrase Proverbs, “her lamp did not go out at night.”
A devout Catholic, she was a faithful member and active volunteer at St. Andrew’s where she received all her sacraments and where her grandchildren were the seventh generation to receive theirs. As a young girl, she looked after the flowers and linens for the altars carved by her great-great grandfather. She was a hard-working and stalwart member of many parish groups including the choirs, where she met her husband, and the Catholic Women’s League, in which she was a member for over 60 years. She grew up making candy and sandwiches for everything from funerals to the parish’s elaborate garden parties and Christmas bazaars. Most incredibly, for decades and on a daily basis, she unfailingly visited shut-in parishioners, showing them great love through her companionship and her delicious home-cooked meals.
Inspired by her faithful and hard-working parents who supported all in need in their community, Pat was extraordinarily generous, unfailingly kind, and supremely interested in every single person she met. She saw God in everyone from the birds she fed daily to the strangers in her midst. She genuinely befriended everyone – from the grocery store clerks and the staff at Tim’s where she, a non-coffee drinker, bought daily coffees for her family, to those at her grandsons’ favourite shops and restaurants where she bought never-ending treats. She never turned her back on anyone who was suffering and set aside everything to show interest and encouragement, to listen with care, and to give the gift of her love-filled smile. Every passerby in need could count on refreshments at her door.
Through everything, including times of great suffering, she radiated the goodness in her heart which burst with joy in the simplest of pleasures. She loved to play the piano, and, with her beautiful voice, sang in the church choirs from childhood through adulthood. After years of nurturing a love for music in her daughter, she gave her a piano for her first home; after years of singing lullabies to her grandsons, she bought them a baby grand on which she lovingly supported their practicing, and then enthusiastically supported them at every concert and musical theatre event in which they were involved. She generously bought scores of tickets for family outings to concerts like the Vienna Boys Choir and innumerable musicals. A talented sketcher and cartoonist, she taught her grandchildren to appreciate beauty.
In her school days, track, baseball, and cycling were favourite sports, though skating, swimming in Lake Ontario, and taking her sisters to fish for minnows in Oakville’s creeks were other well-loved pastimes. In community with her sisters and friends, she bowled and enthusiastically attended baseball and hockey games, one of which led to the further excitement of having to make her way home during a record-breaking snowstorm in the 1940s that halted all travel for several hours and resulted in her walking to Union Station from the Gardens, and making the last part of her journey on the town’s snow plough operated by a family friend. She greatly enjoyed playing tennis and golf with family, and croquet wickets and a badminton net were regular features in the large garden she and Gerry tended so carefully. Long distance travel largely eluded her, but as a superb driver she took the family on many excursions. Every summer involved trips to natural wonders and pilgrimages to shrines.
Family was everything. Through her unceasing support, she helped her husband in his two businesses and in his career as a senior executive with American Motors Canada and later as a teacher at Sheridan, as well as made it possible for her daughter to continue her beloved teaching career through the extraordinary daily care of her grandsons. Building memories for a lifetime, year after year, she and Gerry hosted holiday dinners and summer garden parties that brought together the whole family. They lived out their sacred duty of hospitality and made everyone feel truly at home through times of joy and sorrow, and everything in between. She devoted her entire life to others, from raising her daughter and grandsons to caring for the sick and suffering. She spent every day for close to a year at Princess Margaret Hospital when her mother was suffering from cancer, and drove two of her sisters-in-law to all their cancer appointments. On these hospital visits and others to nursing homes, she was a dogged advocate for others: patients who were strangers to her and who had been diagnosed as beyond help, she literally talked and loved back to life. With Gerry, she supported her other sister-in-law and their six children through a time when her husband was suffering from mental illness, moving them to Toronto where my parents found and furnished them a home and brought them groceries along with home-made soup and cakes every week for years through her brother-in-law’s recovery. Pat also greatly supported her sisters and sister-in-law in the tragic loss of their children and made many sacrifices to support my father in his long-distance visits to his five brothers and his sister when they were ill, and at the time of their deaths.
After a series of small strokes had a significant impact on the independence of this extraordinarily vibrant woman, she continued on with grace, courage, dignity, and kindness. Following these strokes, God gave us over a decade with her so she could try to show us how to live life like her, selflessly and uncomplainingly despite suffering. Though she talked less than she once did, she continued to pray and sing old songs, and to the end, even in moments of discomfort, every single word she spoke was gentle and loving. Blessed was she – meek, merciful, and pure in heart – for she hungered for righteousness and always worked to reconcile others to create peace. This beautiful person can now rejoice and be glad in heaven. The family would like to thank Acclaim Health for providing us with wonderful nurses and PSWs like Arminda, Vitali, Kim, Rosemary, and Donna (and the many others before them); the staff at the OTMH and Dr. VanStraalen who cared for her, especially during her last days; and the many others who cheered her like the PTs and the caring staff of SENECA. We thank God for the miraculous gift of my mother’s life, one in which she always put aside her own will and wishes to make room for the growth and desires of everyone around her, incomparably unselfish from the moment of her birth to the moment of her death when she opened her eyes to say farewell.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church, Oakville, once COVID restrictions have eased.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Mary Patricia Murphy November 01 1929 June 04 2021..
Death notice for the town of: Oakville, Province: Ontario