Claire Ann Murphy Gray, 90, Barrington
Claire Ann Murphy Gray, 90, of Falmouth (“Teaticket”), Mass., formerly of Worcester, died Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013 in Falmouth surrounded by her family. The cause of Claire’s death, of course, as always was life. What matters is her long life and how she lived it. She lived an authentic life for 90 years, raising her seven children, 22 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
Her passion for motherhood was profound. She carried it quietly with a turn of the century, old-fashioned grace of a grand lady. Born the daughter of Bridget “Della” McCarthy, who emigrated from County Claire, Ireland at age 16, Claire graduated from Saint Peter’s High School and Saint Vincent Hospital School of Nursing, both in Worcester. As a member of the Saint Vincent Alumni, she started her nursing career in the maternity and psychiatric practice where she was introduced to her husband of 50 years, John Harrison Gray, through love letters from 1945 when John was stationed in the Japanese Island of Okinawa with Army HQ 935th Engineers Aviation Regiment. Gray, also born of Irish parents from County Roscommon Ireland, passed away in 1998.
Claire continued nursing in private practice while raising seven children, Sean Joseph Gray (Falmouth, Mass.), Peter Murphy Gray (Barrington), Virginia Claire Ross (Provincetown, Mass.), Ann Marie Fattman (Sutton, Mass.), Mary Therese Christofferson (Hornbaek, Denmark), Margaret Mary McGreevy (Media, Pa.), and Dolores Gray Giorgio (Worcester, Mass.) Her cousin Jose Miniter, who lived in Killimer, County Claire Ireland, passed away earlier this year. Claire leaves behind many cousins in Ireland and Worcester, a sister, Joann Murphy Durkin of Worcester and Falmouth; Sister Marion Hogan and Brother Edward Murphy, both deceased.
Claire was an avid knitter and seamstress, creating the most colorful clothes for her children. As a young child, she worked in her father’s A&P Grocery Store, stocking shelves and working on the register.
A founding member family of Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and Guild, she also volunteered her time as a member of Saint Patrick’s Women’s Guild, Nurses Guild of Worcester, and the Teaticket Association in Falmouth, Mass. She was a deeply spiritual lady who frequently taught prayers, particularly to Saint Anthony to locate lost items — including the various stashes of chocolates hidden at 7 Geneva Street, Worcester away from her adoring children! Claire’s faith gave her an uncanny tolerance for those who faltered as she always turned her attention to forgiveness. Her gift for hope and optimism was her tool set, which inspired those throughout her life. Her capacity for selfless love was profound. She also taught her family a great appreciation for the ocean and beaches of Falmouth, which she loved her entire life.
The funeral Mass was held Saturday, Nov. 2 in St. Mark’s Church, Sutton, Mass. The burial was in St. John’s Cemetery, Worcester, Mass. alongside her husband, John Gray. Athy Memorial Home in Worcester directed arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, Claire wished for donations to be made in memory of : Claire Ann Gray, JML Adult Day Health Center in Falmouth, 184 Terheun Drive, Falmouth, MA 02540 ATTN: Bobbee Frazer. This charity was close to our Mother’s heart.