Faith, friends, and family are three words Betty always said are what got her by in the good times and bad. We are sad that Betty Louise Murtagh (Troupe) passed away on Monday November 5th, 2019 at Canton Potsdam Hospital surrounded by family. She was hospitalized on November 1st.
Betty was born on September 29, 1923 in Big Rapids, Michigan, the second of seven to George and Lina Troupe. Betty attended local grade school and graduated from high school at sixteen with a business degree, the same year that WWII broke out. Betty interned at a local music and department store from age 16-18 years old, joined a local sorority, and within a short time had her dream job as Registrar of Probate and remained in this position until her marriage.
In 1946 Betty met Johnny Murtagh, a WWII veteran from Malone, NY. John was attending Ferris State on the GI bill and playing football during this time. They met at a sorority dance introduced by mutual friends and fell in love. Officiated by her cousin, Msgr. James Bryant, Betty married John on Nov 8, 1948 in a small ceremony at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where Betty had attended Catholic school and received all her sacraments.
Betty left all that she had ever known behind and the young couple shortly after their marriage moved to Plattsburgh, NY so John could further his education and get his teaching certificate. Betty quickly acclimated to NY, worked as a secretary at Plattsburgh state, met many lifelong friends, and was brought into the large Murtagh family, as John had seven siblings. Betty dearly loved all her Murtagh family and remained very connected to her Michigan Troupe family despite the distance.
Upon John’s completion of school, Betty and John moved to Schuylerville, NY for a teaching position. It is where they met lifelong friends, Marty and Pat Munson and are now on a friendship that has spanned three generations. They desired to move closer to Northern NY, so Betty and John moved onto Chateaugay, NY. for a two-year teaching position.
In 1956, during the height of the St. Lawrence Seaway, Betty and John moved to Winthrop, NY where John started his thirty-six-year teaching career at St. Lawrence Central. Betty worked as the switchboard operator at St Lawrence Central (yes, plugs and wires and lots of holes to connect and always a quick study, Betty got it!) Betty continued at SLC for many years as a secretary. It was in Winthrop that Betty and John bought their first new and only home. It was in this home they raised their family, entertained family and friends, and held many happy events from fourth of July parties, Christmas gatherings, a wedding reception, and many other memorable events.
Betty loved anything that involved a gathering of people; any ages, any event. Witty, funny, and loved to be with people, Betty drew her energy from those around her and in return gave a lot of energy back. Betty was a communicant at St Patrick’s church for 63 years and a member of the Altar Rosary society and the K of C Ladies Auxiliary. Betty’s most recent involvement was with the Lions Club and a member of Red Hats where Betty enjoyed many outings.
After John’s retirement the couple spent winters in central Florida surrounded by daily rounds of golf and friends, both new and old. Always an avid sports lover, Betty watched Yankee baseball and knew all the players by first name like they were one of her own. Professional Golf was the same. Betty loved to talk sports, kept abreast of the political scene of our country, and could play any card game you wanted to challenge her to.
When John became ill with PSP, Betty cared for John at home for 3 years followed by three more years in the nursing home where she visited him every single day and was his greatest advocate for daily living.
Betty treasured friendships and as she grew older and many of her treasured friends and family passed, she adjusted by making new friends that she also treasured. She loved time with family and so enjoyed regular outings at Mike and Gail’s where she would be surrounded by family, laughter, loudness, great wine, and lots of food that she could always take home for leftovers. A game of cards at the end of the evening with her great grands was always a bonus. Anyone new to the crowd quickly became aware of Nana’s stool and not to sit in it.
Betty is survived by her three children Mary Janice (Bob) Farrington of Potsdam, NY, Mike (Gail) Murtagh of Brasher Falls, NY, Julie (Jim) McGraw of Sarasota, FL, six grandchildren Ben (Brittany) Murtagh, Casey (Alexandria) McClain, Brock (April) Murtagh, Brooke (Shane) Murtagh, Dan (Emily) McGraw, Bridgette (Rob) Hildebrandt and 11 great grandchildren Carter, Maddie, Ella, Ellie, Dominic, Camden, Sophie, Reese, Nora, Allie, and Rorie. Her love of her life, Johnny, passed away May 10, 2007. Betty was the last survivor of her siblings, Joan, Roger, Wally, Jim, MaryAnn, and Dave, all of Michigan.
In lieu of flowers, Betty wished that donations be given to LOOP (Lifted out of Poverty) 12 Coventry St., Massena 13662 % April Charleson, Cure PSP (Progressive Supernuclear Palsy) 1216 Broadway, 2nd Floor, NY, NY 10001 or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are entrusted to Hammill Funeral Home in Winthrop, where visitation will be held Sunday November 10th from 3 – 6 PM. Betty’s Funeral Service and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday November 11, at 10:00AM at St. Patrick Church in Brasher Falls.
We are blessed and honored that our mom has been such an integral part of our life. In the words of our mom, “Faith, friends, and family are all you need in life….and a good Manhattan sure does help!”