Monday, 1/11/16, 6-8pm
Lucille Ann Murphy (nee Priebe), age 92, was called home to Heaven to be with God on January 7, 2016 after living a very full life. She passed away peacefully at the home of her daughters where she resided, surrounded by her family.
Lucille was born August 12, 1923 in Bergenfield, New Jersey to parents Josephine (nee Gold) and Martin Priebe, who themselves met in WW1 where Martin served in the Coast Guard, contracted the Spanish Flu, and Josephine was his nurse. Her childhood with siblings Marie, Helen and Martin (Buddy) was a happy one, even during the Great Depression. Her parents worked tirelessly to ensure their family stayed afloat during a time when many struggled. Lucille was an avid reader, with fond memories of climbing a tree, book in hand, to read the day away. They moved to Amityville, New York in their youth, where she and her siblings met dear friend Richie Smith. They loved playing baseball in the street, and spending time at the beaches on the south shore of Long Island - boating, fishing, clamming and swimming.
During WWII, Lucille worked for a short time at Republic Airport making wing tips for bomber planes. It was there that she met the love of her life, Edward Joseph Murphy. It was love at first sight. They married in 1944 and spent their honeymoon on a road trip, traveling to the Adirondacks, up to Canada and back down through Maine, which they so enjoyed that they dreamed of one day calling it their home.
Edward began his career at Grumman Aerospace, and he and Lucille moved to Massapequa, New York, where they raised their six children. Lucille was a devoted wife and mother. Her strong faith made her the rock and heart of the family, helping her children through some of their toughest times . She had many interests which she shared with her family and instilled in her children, creating a lifetime of wonderful memories for all. She loved gardening, hiking and the outdoors, reading, painting, writing and poetry, sewing, music, cooking and baking, and visiting museums and botanical gardens in Manhattan and Long Island. They enjoyed many family gatherings at her siblings’ homes on Long Island and later at Clearwater Lake in Maine where her brother Buddy built a home for his family, which he generously shared. Most of all, Lucille and family had an affinity for the ocean. They spent days at the beaches on Long Island, often joined by Edward after work who would bring supplies for a sunset beach barbeque. The family vacationed in the great outdoors of Maine and upstate New York. She and Edward loved vacationing in San Diego after their children Mary Ann and Chris moved to California. They retired to Maine in 1994, realizing their honeymoon dream. Lucille had a zest for life and adventure.
Lucille had an unwavering faith in God. She and Edward both converted to Catholicism and began their life together in the Catholic Church. They went on Catholic retreats, and Lucille made several pilgrimages to Canada at Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré and Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal where she climbed the hundred steps on her knees, praying at each step. She was an active member of St. Rose of Lima church in Massapequa, New York and later as St. Sebastian church in Madison, Maine where she made many wonderful new friends in her church community. A rosary was seemingly a constant in her hands, as she prayed for family, friends, their family and friends, and those in need. She would stop most days at 3:00 to recite the prayer of Divine Mercy, which daughter Maura dubbed her “power hour”. Each morning before sending her young children to school, she would have them recite this prayer with her: “Please help the sick, the poor, the hungry, the needy, the suffering, the afflicted, those who have no one to pray for them, those who are alone, those who are in despair, those who are long away from the sacraments.”
Lucille’s husband and children often referred to her as the smartest person they ever knew. She was a voracious reader, often finishing a book day. She was a dreaded opponent during family games of Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit, because she was like a walking encyclopedia. Literally. When Ed and Lucille bought the Encyclopedia Britannica set in the 60’s, Lucille read all 24 volumes cover to cover. After losing her beloved husband Edward in 2010, Lucille learned how to use an iPad at age 88. Her arthritic hands could no longer hold a book, so this helped feed her appetite for knowledge and reading.
Lucille had an open, caring heart, championing for social causes, helping the sick and downtrodden, and praying for those who needed help. She and her girls sewed potholders to sell and raise money for those in need. Later during their retirement in Maine, she and Edward volunteered at St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen in Skowhegan, while they were able. She strung rosary beads for those who needed them. She taught her children: “Be grateful for what you have and help those who are in need”, and constantly reminded herself and her family to “offer it up”, meaning offer your suffering to God as devotion for His sacrifice. Lucille took special care and delight in her children’s friends, offering motherly comfort, love, support and prayers.
She is predeceased by her loving husband of 65 years, Edward J. Murphy, cherished daughter Beth (Murphy) Swain, parents Martin and Josephine Priebe, siblings Marie Priebe, Helene Messina and Martin Priebe and nephew Thaddeus Messina.
Lucille is survived by children Mary Murphy of Los Angeles, California; Edward Christopher Murphy and wife Norma of San Diego, California; Michaela “Kala” Murphy of Madison, Maine, twins Maura and Celia Murphy of Madison, Maine, grandson Jonathan and wife Larissa of Wyoming, son-in-law Shaun Swain of Madison, Maine, sister-in-law Arden Priebe of Industry, Maine, adored nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Lucille’s family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to the exceptional team of caregivers who so lovingly made it possible to spend her final years in the comfort of her daughter’s home, notably niece Valerie Swain and special friend Des. Special thanks to Father John Mazzei and Elizabeth Crowley from St. Sebastian Church in Madison, and the team of Beacon Hospice, all angels on earth, who made her final days comfortable and provided incredible support for the family.
Visiting hours are 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday January 11, 2015 at Smart and Edwards Funeral Home in Skowhegan, Maine. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday January 12, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Sebastian Church in Madison, Maine.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Christ The King Parish
P.O. Box 369
Skowhegan, Maine 04976