|Kathleen Murphy, ca 1942|
Kathleen Marie Murphy was born in December 1921, in Berlin, New Hampshire, to William George Murphy and Glenna Marie Rabideau, and was baptized five weeks later at St. Kieran's Roman Catholic Church in Berlin.2 She had no recollection of Berlin, because by May 1923 her parents had moved to Lewiston, Maine, where her sister Theresa was born.
Aside from a brief family sojourn in Texas circa 1926, Kathleen grew up in Lewiston, attending the oddly-named Jordan Platoon School,3 where at age 13 she was the highest-ranking student in her graduating class. She had an artistic bent, apparent in a series of pencil sketches she made as a teenager – mostly of assorted movie stars, but also one of her father and another that I believe is a self-portrait. She graduated in 1939 from Lewiston High School with a commercial track diploma and went to work, first as a clerk for the "NYA" (probably the National Youth Administration), then as a bookkeeper at the Bates Street Cigar & Confectionary Co.
|Theresa (left) and Kathleen Murphy, Edinburgh, Texas, ca 1926|
|Kathleen's sketch of her father, Bill Murphy||Self-portrait by Kathleen Murphy|
|First known photo of Roger Kirk |
and Kathleen Murphy together, 1941
|Locket found in my mother's jewelry box.|
The vignettes were cut from a photo dated 21 Sep 1942.
|Kathleen (Murphy) and Roger Kirk on their wedding day, 20 July 1943, Lewiston, Maine|
|The Kirk family home, Mechanic Falls, Maine, September 1948|
- [Living] Kirk, b. 1947
- Kathleen "Kathy" Kirk, b. 19515
- Marshall Kenneth Kirk, 1957-20056
- [Living] Kirk (twin), b. 1962
- William Kirk (twin), b. and d. 1962
|Kathleen Kirk holding the future Down East |
Genealogist, then six months old (Aug 1951)
|Kathleen Kirk, ca 1986|
One by one her children grew up, went to college, married, and scattered to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York. When my father died in 1979, my youngest brother was still in high school, and he remained at home for a number of years before marrying and buying a house only a few blocks away. He came by every day or two to see his mother and do little chores around the house that she wasn't up to doing.
On a snowy March 6th in 1993, he dropped by after work with his pickup truck to plow the driveway, and on the back porch found that the newspaper had not been brought in. Our mother had had a stroke and passed away in the wee hours of the morning. Five days later, her children gathered and laid their mother to rest, next to their father, in Gracelawn Memorial Park in Auburn.
How I miss you, Mama.
|Gracelawn Memorial Park, Auburn, Maine|
(Note: This post is in response to Amy Johnson Crow's "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" challenge at No Story Too Small.)
- OK, it's a day late. As usual, it took much longer than expected to pull together. Not to mention that when it was nearly complete, I tried to "undo" something and Blogger summarily erased the entire post, which I had to recreate from a draft. My mother would understand.
- For once, I'm going to dispense with formal source citations. Suffice it to say that my information comes from personal knowledge; family photos, memorabilia, and lore; and in a few cases, city directories for Lewiston and Auburn, Maine, found on Ancestry.com.
- I have no idea why the Jordan Grammar School was commonly known as Jordan Platoon School, but that's how it was referred to in newspaper articles, for example.
- It's entirely possible that they met through another connection that had nothing to do with growing up in Lewiston and attending the same schools. Roger had a half-uncle, Walter Rand, who lived in Milan, New Hampshire, from about 1906 until his death in 1946, and was the proprietor of Rand's Cabins, a "tourist camp" in Milan, from about the 1920s through 1946. Kathleen's mother, Glenna Rabideau, had grown up in Milan, and her parents were living in Dummer (only a stone's throw away from Milan) in the early 1930s (they moved to Norway, Maine in 1934). Glenna's parents, Peter and Eva (Woodward) Rabideau (b. 1870 and 1871), were close contemporaries of Walter and Ellen (Adley) Rand (b. 1875 and 1873), so it would be surprising if the families hadn't known each other (Milan is a very small town). And I can easily envision the Murphys visiting the Rabideaus at the same time the Kirks happened to be visiting the Rands.
- AKA The Down East Genealogist. Also still living, last time I checked.
- Marshall was the real genealogist in the family; he worked nearly ten years as a research librarian for the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, and authored a number of articles for genealogical journals. I am deeply in his debt for his painstaking research on our family tree, which he bequeathed to me.