Martha Ann Murray
October 29, 1946 - January 13, 2021
Grand Blanc, Michigan
Martha Ann Murray passed away peacefully on January 13, 2021 surrounded by her family in Troy, Michigan. She was 74.
Martha dedicated her life to education. For 31 years, she held various teaching and leadership positions in the Minisink Valley School District, in Slate Hill, New York. She started her career as a high school English teacher, holding her first teaching position at Minisink Valley in 1979. She focused on cultivating a love of reading in her students, and especially aimed to bring classic literature to life. She used Metallica to teach Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls and delighted in traveling to Europe with her students to visit the places in A Tale of Two Cities.
After ten years of teaching, Martha got her PhD in Education from New York University. She became a high school administrator and then Minisink Valley's district superintendent, a position she held until 2009. Before fully retiring in 2015, Martha returned to her real love – teaching –as a professor, teaching early career teachers at Long Island University.
Martha was born in Detroit, Michigan, on October 29, 1946, to Bernard and Hilda (Williams) Murray. She was raised with her five siblings Marie, Bill, Jim, Cathy, and Kevin. Upon retiring, Martha returned to Michigan to be closer to her family, spending summers in Marin County, California with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. While Martha was always an avid reader, she discovered later in life that she also had a gift for painting, and became a prolific painter. In her later years, she was happiest painting in her garage, which she converted into an art studio, interacting with neighbors as they passed by, and leading social events in her retirement community. She had a meticulous eye for detail, loved organizing, and had a great sense of humor. Martha's greatest joy was her grandchildren. She was a devoted grandmother and her grandchildren delighted in reading, painting, and spending time with her.
Martha is survived by her daughter, Laura Viggiano, and her husband, Roger Williams; her grandchildren, Ryder and Sierra Williams; her sister, Marie Peters; her brother, Jim Murray, and his wife, Liz; her brother, Bill Murray, and his wife, Mary; her sister-in-law, Debby Murray; and many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her sister, Cathy Scibilia; Cathy's husband, Tony; and her brother, Kevin Murray.
While Martha has departed this earth, she will live forever in our hearts and our memories. Once it's safe to gather, likely in Summer 2021, we will hold a memorial in Michigan to honor her life and all she meant to us.
Published in Times Herald-Record from Jan. 21 to Jan. 29, 2021.