Maria Calabrese Murray
89, of Indianapolis, passed away July 7, 2012. Born in New York City in 1923, she was a member of the first graduating class of both the Little Red School House and the High School of Music & Art, both in New York. She entered Music & Art as a music major, playing flute & piano. During her last year in high school she played flute with the Columbia University Symphonic Band.
She graduated from Syracuse University in 1944 with a BFA in Art Education. During World War II, she was one of the first five women from Syracuse University to attend the U.S. Naval Midshipman School at Smith College in Northampton, MA, and was later commissioned an Ensign. At Syracuse University, she was the first returning service person to teach art in the College of Human Development and received an MA in Applied Arts.
After two years in Newtown, CT, she moved to Indiana in 1952. She has lived in Madison, New Castle, and Indianapolis. While in Madison, she taught art at Hanover College, was a special feature writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal Magazine, and was a member of the Madison Art Association.
In New Castle, she served as President of the Medical Society Auxiliary and was a member of the Saturday Club. She worked closely with the New Castle schools in support of her five children, including PTA and scouting, served in community activities, and was a charter member of the Art Association of New Castle.
She moved to Indianapolis in 1971 when her husband, Dr. William E. Murray, was appointed by Gov. Edgar Whitcomb to serve as Commissioner of Mental Health for the State of Indiana.
On two occasions (1957 and 1971), Mrs. Murray presented her research documents and photographs to President Richard Milhous Nixon on the history of the Milhous family in southern Indiana from 1854 to 1897.
In the 1970s, Mrs. Murray studied at Christ College, Cambridge University, England. During the 1980s, she received an MS in Adult Education from Indiana University.
Mrs. Murray developed the Indianapolis Chapter of a non-profit organization called Hospital Audiences, Inc. As Executive Director, she reached 'Special Audiences' through visual and performing arts programs. She also wrote and coordinated grants from the Indiana Arts Commission and the Indiana Humanities Council.
In 1976, she became a charter member of the Marion County Council on Aging. She served on the advisory council of the Edyvean Repertory Theatre at Christian Theological Seminary and also served on the board of Foster Grandparents. She was a lifetime member of Sigma Kappa Sorority and a member of the Indiana Artist-Craftsmen. She was a charter member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. William E. Murray, and great-grandson, Cameron J. Murray. She is survived by her five children: Lynne McCulloch, William E. Murray, Jr. (Gail), Lisa Fennig, Susan Murray Cooper (Jim), and Timothy Murray (Teri); 8 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren.
The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 14, 2012, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 3243 N. Meridian.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions to: The Little Red Schoolhouse, 272 Sixth Ave., NY, NY, 10014; Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Ansonia Station, 100 Amsterdam Ave., Rm. 853, NY, NY, 10023.
The family is grateful for the dedicated medical care of Steven Harris, MD, Charles Taliercio, MD, Richard Kohler, MD, Mark Holbreich, MD, and Brett Zimpfer, DDS. Also for the loving care provided by Companion Care Connection and At Your Service Home Care.