Annie Laura Murphy, Reserve Mines, 103

Annie Laura Murphy, Reserve Mines, 103

1914 - 2018

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Annie Laura

Obituary of Annie Laura Murphy, Reserve Mines, 103

Annie Laura Murphy

103, Reserve Mines


The family of Annie Laura (McInnis) Murphy of Sydney Road, Reserve Mines, is deeply saddened to announce her passing on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018, at the age of 103, in Harbourstone Enhanced Care in Sydney River, where she has resided since April of 2014.

Born on November 9,1914, in Glace Bay, she was the daughter of the late Daniel and Mary Elsie (Flynn) McInnis of McKay's Corner.

After graduation from Glace Bay High School in1932, Laura attended the Nova Scotia Normal College where she obtained her teaching licence. Her first two years as a teacher began in 1933 in a one-room school in Frenchvale where some of her oldest students were responsible for keeping a fire going in the stove. She then taught for one year at Tower Road. 

In 1936, she married Thomas Murphy of Reserve Mines and her career was interrupted as married women were not permitted to teach at that time. She returned to the classroom in 1954 in Reserve at St. Joseph's School and then at Reserve District High. During those years, she upgraded her licence by taking courses at Xavier College. She retired in 1979, having spent twenty-eight years in the classroom at what she considered to be a very rewarding and fulfilling career.  Laura was very well-respected by both her peers and her students.  Throughout her life, she was a champion of the less fortunate and she had respect for everyone.

Laura was a woman of deep faith. In earlier years, she attended Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in McKay's Corner and she was a member of the congregation of Saint Joseph's Church in Reserve Mines for many years.

Laura was a person of very strong character that was fashioned, to some extent, by the experience of growing up during the 20s and 30s without the father of her family, who died at thirty-six years of age, when she was eleven. Laura and her mother and six siblings faced many challenges and she and her sisters and brothers learned early the value of hard work and perseverance while making the most of what they had and not wasting anything. These were characteristics that Laura maintained throughout her life. She often spoke highly of her mother, Madge, who, after the passing of her husband, raised seven children with unwavering strength and guidance.

Laura's family meant everything to her and their happiness and well-being were a primary concern for her and Tom. Their home was a place where many gatherings were held and Laura's fine cooking and baking skills produced delicious meals that were thoroughly enjoyed. Her grandchildren fondly remember their visits when they would be treated lovingly to their favourite meals.

Both Laura and Tom had green thumbs and they spent many summers cultivating very productive vegetable gardens. They nurtured an abundance of beautiful flowers and plants that adorned both the interior and exterior of their home.

Laura's husband, Tom, was well-known as a character who loved a funny story and who might play a practical joke on the unsuspecting. Laura also possessed a fine sense of humour and laughter was an important part of her being right up to the end of her days.

Besides her parents, Laura was predeceased by her husband Thomas, in 1988; sisters Elsie and her husband, Hal Chenell; Thelma and her husband, Pat McCormack; brothers, Thomas “Son” and his wife, Dorothy; Gussie; Donnie and his wife, Anna; brother-in-law Aubrey McNeil; and son-in-law Gord Byrnes.      

She is survived by her daughter, Norma Byrnes, sons, Arnold (Nan), Thomas (Minette), Stuart (Marie), and Jerry (Mora), thirteen grandchildren, twenty-five great grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, two step-great grandchildren, sister Monica McNeil, sister-in-law  Rita McInnis, and many cherished nieces and nephews.

Heartfelt thanks are extended to the wonderful staff of Irish Cove at Harbourstone for their loving care of Laura during her last four years. Thanks are extended also to Dr. Jamie MacLean of Glace Bay and Dr. Steven Hall of Sydney for their excellent care.

There will be no visitation. A Funeral Mass celebrating Laura's life will be held at St. Joseph's Church in Reserve Mines on Friday, March 23rd, at 11am with Fr. Norman MacPhee as celebrant. Interment in the parish cemetery followed by a reception in the church hall. Memorial donations can be made to the Cemetery Fund of Saint Joseph's Church in Reserve Mines or to a charity of choice.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of V. J. McGillivray Funeral Home, 16 Reserve Street, Glace Bay. Online condolences can be forwarded to the family at


      Loving and kind in all her ways

      Upright and just to the end of her days

      Sincere and true in her heart and mind

      Beautiful memories she has left behind.