- It matters not whether we are eighteen or eighty, it seems the most magical memories of our lives always center around someone called Mom. Barb was born on September 11, 1943, in the Flower of Fifty Avenue Hospital in Manhattan, NY, to Joseph Patrick Murray and Mildred Louise O'Hearon and passed away at her home in Lexington, KY, on January 28, 2018, at the age of 74. After spending her early childhood in the Bronx, and after the death of her father, at age eleven, she, her brother and her mother moved to her mother's hometown of Bangor, Maine, a place Barb would throughout her life consider her hometown.
She attended St. Mary's elementary and later graduated in 1961 from John Bapst High School, the school (although with a different name) from which her mother had graduated in 1922. In 1964 she met her husband, Joe, who was stationed at nearby Dow Air Force Base and they were married in 1965 at her beloved St. Mary's. Later in 1965, they moved to Kentucky where their three daughters were born.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by three daughters, Julia Mercer of Lexington, Melanie Mercer Blackerby (Jim) of Lexington, and Dana Mercer Argroves of Atlanta. She is also survived by five grandchildren, James Blackerby, III (Emily) of Louisville, Joe Andrew Blackerby of Lexington, Steven Rhys Blackerby of Lexington, Andrew Mercer Argroves of Atlanta and Natalie Claire Argroves of Atlanta. She is also survived by her one great-grandchild, Lily Anna Blackerby of Louisville. In addition, she is survived by her older sister, her lifetime heroine, Jacqueline Murray Grimes of Albany, NY. She was preceded in death by both of her parents, and her brother, Joseph Patrick Murray, Jr.
In 1969 Barb, Joe and their small family moved from Pikeville, KY, to Lexington, KY, to attend UK. Afterwards, she became a teacher in Fayette County until her retirement in 2003. In her retirement, she always enjoyed her professional group meetings with other retired educators, her participation in the Suburban Woman's Club, her educational sororities, and the various Book Clubs and other groups to which she belonged. She was extremely proud of her Irish Heritage and was very fond of telling everyone there were only two races in the world that really mattered, "The Irish, and the Kentucky Derby". Her family was the centerpoint of her existence. She loved family beach vacations anywhere, but was especially happy when on one of her trips to Hawaii. She always remarked that "nothing in the world makes a Maine girl happier in winter than a beach in Hawaii". We, her family, will never forget her, and her influence on our lives. For us, A Sweeter Rose Never Bloomed.
Visitation will be at the Milward Funeral Home, Man O' War location, in Lexington, KY, on Thursday, February 1, 2018, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. A private family funeral will be held later. The family requests that in lieu of flowers you consider a contribution to either God's Pantry, The Salvation Army, or The Lexington Humane Society. www.milwardfuneral.com
Published on  January 31, 2018