McGRAW, MARY ELIZABETH MURPHY, 94, passed away peacefully at her home early Friday morning, November 30, 2012.
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She was born in Fordsville, KY, but grew up in Louisville with her two sisters, Alberta and Tillie. She retired as an elementary school teacher after over thirty years in the Jefferson County Public Schools. She reportedly had a record number of former students come back to her schools to visit with her and thank her for being their favorite teacher. Prior to her teaching career, she held numerous positions, including working for Woolworth's, A.B. Dick, Brown Forman, Oleanda Park summer director and Curtis Wright where she made parts for the B-53 bomber during World War II.
Mary was a graduate of Girls' High School at the current location of duPont Manual High School, where her late husband Woodson and all of her children attended high school. Mary received her Master's Degree from Spalding University and was just a few hours away from her Doctorate. She was active in the Oakdale Methodist Church near Churchill Downs until the Church was converted into the Kentucky Racing Authority.
Mary's first love in life was her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also loved her Irish heritage, watching her children play baseball, basketball and football, arguing with referees, cooking family meals, playing card games, taking care of her dog, "Meathead" during his life, playing piano, square dancing and bowling. She and her late husband bowled in leagues, where she bowled above 200 on numerous occasions.
She played basketball, softball and on the same teams with her daughter. Mary enjoyed many happy times with friends. Her favorite group of friends was the ONO Club (Our Night Out) including Olice, Frankie, Kathleen, Alice, Ethel, Edna, Anita and Hazel, who shared fun together for over forty years.
Mary loved staying at home with family and friends. She lived over nine decades without ever getting on an airplane. Even so, she traveled by car throughout the U.S.
Mary also loved Regina as her best friend, who eventually became her main caregiver. They spent many years together, sharing the good times as well as the tough times. Many thanks also to her other caregivers: Kelly, Sue, Theresa and Jeanie.
Many people claim to have the best Mom in the world but Mary was just that. She always put here children's interest way above her own and was fiercely loyal and supportive of her extended family.
She is survived by sons, Woodson McGraw Jr. (MarEva) and Mick McGraw (Cheryl); daughter, Nancy Thompson (Glenn); grandchildren Emily, Scott, Ron, Melissa, Kelly, Brian and Julie; great-grandchildren, Ben, Maggie, Catherine, Ronan, Maura, Harrison, Chase, Avery, Crawford, Jack and Nate, all of whom want to confirm her status as grandmother of the century.
Visitation will be held Sunday, December 2, 2012 from 1-6 p.m. at Owen Funeral Home, (5317 Dixie Highway.) A celebration of her life will be held on Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10 a.m. with interment to follow in Louisville Memorial Gardens Cemetary next to her husband of 55 years, Woodson.
Please visit the website created in her honor and share with the McGraw family your favorite memories of Mary.
Owen Funeral Home
5317 Dixie Highway
Louisville, KY 40216
Published in The Courier-Journal from Dec. 1 to Dec. 3, 2012