Barbara F. Murphy, a precious lady now resting with her heavenly father passed away at home on Tuesday February 20th 2018 following a long, fragile, frail but feisty fight with cancer.
Born on August 6, 1933 in Ilion, NY, she was the daughter of the late Lynn and Alice foreman Francisco.
She was predeceased by her former husband, Donald E. Murphy of Mohawk NY.
Barbara is survived by her two loving daughters, Lynne Barse, Mohawk NY and Kelly (Ernest) Slater of Herkimer, NY, three special grandchildren, Haylea Barse, Michael Barse and Dakota slater. Also survived by her brother, Robert Francisco, of Melbourne, Florida, many nieces, nephews and cousins, especially Kathryn (Thomas) Lapuma of Frankfort, NY, and Mary Kay Lapuma Mcguire, as well as her extended family member, livelong trusted friend, business partner and sole caregiver, Karen Rogers.
Barbara was a very Christian woman who exemplified the rarest blending of high integrity, sharp intellect, remarkable accomplishment, profound generosity and humility of spirit.
A graduate of the State University at Cortland, Barbara was a well-known and highly regarded elementary educator having served at both the New Hartford and Mohawk Central Schools for upwards of 25 years.
During her tenure at the Mohawk Central School District, Barbara was recognized and commended by President Ronald Reagan for her dedication, leadership skills, commitment, classroom creativity and project-based learning including, coordination of a week-long NASA Aerospace Education Program, the highlight of an appearance by Astronaut Karl Henize from Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, a NASA Educational Specialist displaying exhibits, slides and films to students explaining the depth of and duration of the Space program, as well as the New York Army National Guard with static aircraft on the school grounds for tours by members of the student body and general public. The Space Week program included all school students in the Mohawk Valley as well as members of the general public.
Additional project-based learning opportunities Barbara created for her students included the construction of a 4' Space shuttle out of paper mache; a 5' Robot 2R SC who delivered a message about the importance of being a responsible school citizen as well as the construction of a lifelike paper mache school bus for purposes of presenting a program on bus safety for the first and second grades. All of these projects provided opportunities for students to investigate meaningful questions that allowed them to gather information and think critically.
Barbara was also chosen as the regional coordinator of a mathematics program known as
Comprehensive Instructional Management System otherwise referred to as CIMS. The purpose of the program at the time was to provide teacher support systems to help manage mathematics instruction of students. Most importantly, the program provided computer assistance to enable teachers to instruct students on any specific weakness the computer reported. The unique part of the program was that it allowed the teachers to do what they did best …Teach!
Following Barbara's retirement from education, she relocated to East Greenbush and joined KR in becoming the first women-owned Ground Round franchisees in the USA. They chose Ground Round because of its primary focus on children and families. Known and designated by Rensselaer County as an "Institution of Good Food and Good Will in the community, Barbara was always proud to thank patrons and loyal supporters for allowing Ground Round to donate upwards of $250,000.00 to multiple community fundraisers providing assistance to needy families, as well as others suffering from debilitating and terminal illnesses throughout East Greenbush and surrounding communities in Rensselaer County. The franchisees always contended that the real purpose of their existence was not to make a living – but to make a life – a worthy, well-rounded, useful life.
In her early years while residing in the Mohawk Valley, Barbara was ordained a Deacon at the Mohawk Reformed Church in Mohawk NY and served her congregation loyally, faithfully and generously for many years. Following her move to the Capital Region, she elected to become a member and parishioner of the Roman Catholic Community of the Church of St. Mary in Clinton Heights.
Barbara enjoyed the privilege of serving on the St. Mary's School Board, St. Mary's Pastoral Care Committee and founded and gave birth to the Annual St. Mary's Golf Outing, which, for many years, was sponsored exclusively by The Ground Round and continues to be an annual fun-filled community and charitable event.
Following the closure of Ground Round, Barbara had the privilege of serving the Kindergarten classroom educators at Red Mill School in East Greenbush as a STAR (Seniors Teaching and Reaching Students) volunteer primarily focusing on education and literacy in assisting students in enhancing reading skills. During her tenure as a volunteer, Barbara was recognized by many of the Capital Region news and television stations for her many her significant and successful accomplishments as a loyal and dedicated volunteer.
Barbara's family extends their heartfelt thanks to the many medical teams that have preserved, protected and prolonged Barbara's quality of life including Drs. Jose Guillem and Paul Chapman of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Drs. Elizabeth Valentine, Haiyang Tao and all of the professional, capable and qualified staff associates at Saratoga Hospital. Also, a genuine thanks of gratitude and appreciation to the staff of the Community Hospice Offices of Columbia-Greene Counties for their promptness, caring and compassionate concern and unwavering support throughout Barbara's end -of life journey especially her Hospice care giver Grace Sweet.
Finally, and as importantly, a special thanks and Blessings to members of St. Mary's Altar Rosary Society, Saint Mary's Parishioners /Prayer Group, Father Jerry Gingras, Father Tom Konopka, Deacon Tim Kosto and organist Carl Hackert for their many prayerful acts and intercessions during Barbara's illness.
A Vigil and Visitation with the family is scheduled at 10-11 at the Church of St. Mary, Clinton Heights on Saturday March 3rd followed by a Memorial Mass at 11 AM.
In lieu of flowers, gifts of remembrance can be made to the Memorial Fund of St. Mary's Church, Concerns-U of Rensselaer, New York 12144 or a charity of choice.
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