Hanover, NH — Malvina B, (Korosa) Murdza, of Hanover, NH, a nine-year resident of Hanover Terrace Nursing Home, died Thursday morning, February 28, 2013, (her late husband's birthday) at the age of 97, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Despite her illness, her warmth and humor brightened the lives of the nursing home's staff. whose devoted care of Malvina was treasured by all members of her family.
Born in Nashua, NH on April 30, 1915, she was a second-generation Lithuanian-American, the daughter of Andrew and Malvina (Lapeska) Korosa, two of the millions of immigrants who came from Eastern Europe in the early decades of the twentieth century to work in the textile mills of the Merrimack Valley. Learning from her parents the importance of education, she excelled in various public schools in Lawrence and Methuen, graduating from Edward F. Searles High School in Methuen. She subsequently attended the McIntosh Business School in Lawrence, where she learned shorthand and bookkeeping, skills she put to use working for the Pacific Mills.
On Mother's Day 1947, she married Peter J. Murdza of Ipswich in St. Francis Church in Lawrence, where she had been president of the choir. After spending two years in her husband's hometown, she, her husband, and young son Peter embarked on what she viewed as a great adventure for a mill-town girl, moving to Milton, MA. There her husband with her help managed Winter Valley, the estate of William T. Whitney. whose mother came from the well-known Thaw family of Pittsburgh, featured in the movie "The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing". The estate was well-known for its beautiful flower gardens designed by the architectural firm of Henry Law Olmstead.
In Milton, she gave birth to the first Milton baby born in the new Milton Hospital, a daughter Susan. A quintessential housewife of the era, she was well-known as an excellent cook, and expert embroiderer, and a meticulous housekeeper. Like her parents, she took an active interest in her children's education and shared with them her love of reading and interest in current events. On her husband's retirement in 1975, they returned to Lawrence, where her husband passed away in 1992. She then lived on her own until 2000, when she moved to Hanover to live with her son.
Grand Mal was blessed with six grandchildren whom she loved greatly and of whose achievements in life she was immensely proud; Emily Eisen Collier (husband Christopher), a classical musician in Philadelphia; Katherine (Katy) Murdza, a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama; Katherine (Kate) Eisen, a research associate in evolutionary biology at the University of Guelph, Ontario; Julia Murdza, a student of international relations at Brown University in Providence; James Murdza, an accomplished computer programmer in Hanover; and Robert (Robbie) Murdza, a three-sport athlete at Hanover High School.
Besides her grandchildren, she is survived by her son Peter Murdza, Jr. and his wife Barbara Prince of Hanover; her daughter, Susan Eisen and her husband William of Wellesley; her sister-in-law, Anne Spencer of Gloucester; and numerous nieces and nephews. Besides her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her sister, Lena Franz, her brother, Vito Korosa, and her stepfather, Remi Fouquart.
ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are invited to a Funeral Mass to be held Monday, March 4, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in Holy Rosary Church-Corpus Christi Parish, Essex St., Lawrence. Burial will follow in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Lawrence. At the request of the family, there are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, donations in Malvina's memory may be made to the: Salesian Missions, 2 Lefevre Lane, New Rochelle, NY 10801-5710.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Boles Memorial-Baron-McAuliffe-Yameen Funeral Home, 184 Jackson Street, Lawrence, MA 01841 (978-686-0386).