AUGUSTA – Leola Murphy, 84, went to be with her father, her grandson and with God, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, surrounded by the family she loved and cared for all her adult life. She was born on Christmas day 1928, in St. Francis, a present to the late Vital and Albertine (Pelletier) Thibodeau.
Mrs. Murphy and her husband, Leo, have been co-owners of Plummer Funeral Home, Augusta, since 1962 where she also served as treasurer of the corporation while raising six children in the apartment above the funeral home. She was a communicant of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church of St. Michael Parish, Augusta; a past secretary of St. Mary’s Woman’s Club, a charter member of Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary, past chancellor of Daughters of Isabella, former member of Ladies of St. Anne Society, a scribe of the Daughters of Isabella, she was chairperson of the first fundraiser to build a new church – St. Andrew, and co-chair for a card party with desserts after the sale, and also was a charter member of the St. Mary’s and St. Andrew’s Canado-American. Mom was a very generous woman, giving of her time and knitting ability to many organizations. Knitted hats, mittens, scarves and dish cloths, food and fudge were always at the St. Mary’s Christmas fair as well as the other Catholic churches and St. Mark’s Church. Mittens and hats were also donated to the school for those children who had little to keep them warm. She was an incredible seamstress, using her skills to make clothing for her children, her husband, herself and even the girls’ dolls. Though illness hit her terribly in 1973, she fought hard to get back to where she once was as the family and the business still needed her attention. She never did regain all her strength, but she still pushed herself and persevered through it all. She was active at the funeral home until just a few years ago and was never less of a mother to any of her children. She was a loving wife to Dad and a wonderful mother and friend to her kids. Her smile, laugh and gentle humor will be greatly missed by all of us.
Mrs. Murphy was predeceased by a sister, Vitaline “Jean” Blanchette; a grandson, Justin Ham; two nephews, Joel Blanchette and Daniel Belanger; a niece, Traci Covini; and brothers-in-law, Clarence Barclay and Marcel Blanchette. She is survived by her loving husband of 62 years, Leo J. Murphy of Augusta; three sons, J. Patrick Murphy and his wife, Suzanne, of Augusta, Timothy J. Murphy and his companion, Cheryl Clark, of Windsor and L. Michael Murphy and his wife, Rae, of Augusta; three daughters, Dorothy A. Smith and her husband, David, of Augusta, Barbara J. Daigle and her husband, Robert, of Auburn and M. Kathryn Foye and her husband, Chad, of Chelsea; a brother, Relio “Sonny” Thibodeau of Ocala, Fla.; six sisters, Sylvia Barclay of Caribou, Velma Hines of Forestville, Conn., Lydianne “Kit” Mikol of Bristol, Conn., Dorilla “Bea” Belanger of Bristol, Conn., Emily Nuzzo of Daytona Beach, Fla., and Brenda Covini of Tampa, Fla.; 11 grandchildren, Heidi and Adam Smith, Laurie, Kevin and Lisa Murphy, Briana Ham-Perreault, Travis Johnson, Meghan and Nathan Foye, and Christopher and Madelynn Murphy; a stepgranddaughter, Felicia McArthur; four great-grandchildren, Colby, Isaac, Chance and Ella; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. The family would like to express their deep and sincere appreciation to the nurses and aides at HealthReach Hospice. The compassion, care and kindness shown to our mother and to the family will never be forgotten. There will be a special place in our hearts for Lainny, Anna, Emily, Karen, Wendy, Kelley and Jean to name a few. We cannot imagine what this experience would have been like without their help and knowledge.
Relatives and friends may visit 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, Western Avenue, Augusta. Burial will be held in the spring in the family lot at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Winthrop Street, Augusta. Those who desire may make donations in Leola’s memory to either Muscular Dystrophy Association, attention: Director of Planned Giving, 3300 East Sunrise Drive, Tucson, AZ, 85718 or HealthReach Hospice and Volunteers of Kennebec Valley, P.O. Box 828, Waterville, ME 04903-0828. Condolences, photos and memories may be shared at www.plummerfh.com.