Mary Catherine (Murphy) Keirstead passed away peacefully at Rutland Regional Medical Center, surrounded by her family on February 22, 2013, following a long and courageous battle with lung cancer.
She was born at Rutland Hospital March 4, 1939, to Daniel A. and Mildred (Dwyer) Murphy of Center Rutland.
Mary attended Center Rutland School, graduating in 1953, Mount St. Joseph Academy, graduating in 1957, and Rutland Business College, graduating in 1958.
Mary worked at Howe Scale Co. as an IBM verifier keypuncher and at Murphy Office Equipment Co.
Mary married Lee W. Keirstead Sr., son of Wayne T. and Barbara W. Keirstead, on December 11, 1958, at the Congregational Church Parsonage. The service was performed by the Rev. Gordon Aldrich.
Mary served as the last president of the PTA for Center Rutland School and helped organize potluck dinners for Rutland Town School's PTA meetings. She was a homeroom mother at Rutland Town Elementary School and Oak Grove School in Brattleboro, Vt. She was a Brownie and Girl Scout Troop leader at Rutland Town School.
In 1984, she and Lee bought Bomoseen Golfland and enjoyed many years operating Golfland and spending time at Lake Bomoseen.
Mary was appointed by the Rutland Town selectmen to represent the town on the board of the Marble Valley Regional Transit District, "The Bus," and in 1982, when Rutland Town voted not to be a member, she served as a member at large until 2011. She was also appointed by the selectmen as the town's representative to the board of the Regional Ambulance Service Inc. in 1984 and served as their secretary until her death.
Mary was the "official" scorekeeper at Lee's softball games. She loved attending any activity or sporting event that her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were involved in, keeping in touch with family and friends, crossword puzzles, traveling, lobster and gathering with her MSJ classmates for coffee and meals together.
Mary was predeceased by her father, Daniel, in 1965; her mother, Mildred, in 1991; her husband in 2010; and a nephew, Robert G. Spaulding III, in 1998.
Mary is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth "Betsy" Johnson and her husband Roger of Rutland Town, Susan L. Snitker and her husband Darren of Mendon; a son, Lee W. Keirstead Jr. and his wife Shaune Kelly of Guilderland, N.Y.; seven grandchildren, Nicole James, Samantha, Ethan and Lauren Snitker, and Murphy, Liam and Shea Keirstead; two great-granddaughters, Alexis and Rory Landrie, and a great-grandson, Jacob James; by her sister, Margaret Spaulding and her husband Robert Gale "Pete" of West Springfield, Mass.; brother-in-law Rev. Earl W. Keirstead and his wife Linda of Cape Coral, Fla.; nephews Daniel Spaulding and his wife Alissa of West Springfield, Mass., J. Christopher Keirstead of Cape Coral, Fla., and Timothy L. Keirstead of Bristol, Conn.; a niece, Heidi Spaulding of West Springfield, Mass.; grandnephews Michael and Daniel Spaulding and Brodie Lohnes, grandnieces Casey Spaulding and Mackensie Spaulding; and many other extended family members and dear friends.
A service of remembrance and celebration will be held on Saturday, March 2, at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Congregational United Church of Christ. A graveside committal service and burial will take place at a later date in the Cheney Hill Cemetery in Rutland Town.
Friends may call at the Clifford Funeral Home on Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to Rutland Ambulance Service, 275 Stratton Road, Rutland, VT 05701.