BANGOR and HYANNIS, Mass. - Toini Hemmila Murray, 92, passed away peacefully July 9, 2013, at a Bangor health care facility. She was born May 4, 1921, in Hyannis, Mass., daughter of Hilda (Jahi) and John Hemmila.
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She graduated from Barnstable High School in 1939 and Hyannis State Teacher's College in 1943, taught first grade in Yarmouth, Mass., 1943-1948, then married Paul C. Murray and started her family. In 1963 she returned to teaching at Hyannis West Elementary, until she retired in 1978. In retirement, she transcribed textbooks into Braille with exceptional skill and dedication for Massachusetts Association for the Blind. Toini spoke fluent Finnish, and her first transatlantic trip was to meet relatives in Finland. She traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Costa Rica and loved to dance and sing, to paint and knit, and to garden and needlepoint. Toini held season tickets to the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra and loved the Melody Tent and the Cape Playhouse. Neighbors from Dunn's Pond Road will remember Toini as the organizer and song leader of the annual Christmas caroling. Toini frequented the Hyannis Public Library, and a wide variety of Cape Cod events. She was a member of American Association of University Women, Needlepoint Guild of Cape Cod, and the Red Snappers group of the Red Hat Society.
Toini was predeceased by her loving husband, Paul, to whom she was married for 55 years; her parents, Hilda and John; brother, Alpo; and sister, Laila. She is survived by her daughters, Susan and husband, Don, of Holden, and Betsy of Costa Rica; granddaughter, Silvia of Costa Rica; nephews, Fred Hemmila, Les Hemmila and Peter Murray; great-nieces and great-nephews; along with great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews. The family wants to thank the wonderful staff at Westgate Manor for the loving care provided to Toini.
A committal service and a celebration of her life will be held in September in Hyannis, Mass. Those who wish to remember Toini in a special way may make gifts in her memory to Westgate Manor, Activities Department, 750 Union St., Bangor, ME 04401, 207-942-7336. A service of Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St., Bangor. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.
Published in BDN Maine on July 13, 2013