Haverhill — Mary M. (McGagh) Murphy passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on October 5, 2012 at the Merrimack Valley Hospice House in Haverhill, MA. Mary was a Haverhill resident all her life; in fact was born and lived in the same house her entire life until her recent illness. Mary, known as Ma or Nana to her family, will be greatly missed.
Mary, the daughter of the late John J. and Margaret (O'Leary) McGagh, was born on April 29, 1921. She attended Haverhill schools, and then worked for the telephone company. When her children were older, she worked as a cafeteria worker in the Haverhill School System. Mary was a member of St. James Parish. She was a woman with remarkably strong faith and was known to say multiple rosaries daily to Her Blessed Mother Mary asking her to watch over and keep safe the family she treasured.
Mary enjoyed shopping in her younger years and the evolution of QVC and HSN in her later years. She was a wonderful pastry chef, her holiday pies always a favorite. Mary became a Red Sox and Patriots fan in her eighties, watching them religiously and reporting often to her family her happiness or dismay with their scores.
Mary was predeceased by her husband John J. Murphy. She is survived by her daughter Patricia M. and her husband Richard D. Nansel of Bradford, MA, daughter Marilyn J. and her husband John W. Held of Warwick, RI, son Michael J. and his wife Jeanne E. Murphy of Hampstead, NH, granddaughter Kristen Kellett of Haverhill, MA, grandson Erik, and his wife Caryl Nansel of Wilmington, MA, granddaughter Christine Held Smith, and her husband Christopher Smith of Mt. Holly, VA, and granddaughter Kathleen Held of Warwick, RI. Also, her great-grandchildren Delaney, Kaelyn, and Keegan Kellett of Haverhill, MA, Brett and Kelsie Nansel of Wilmington, MA, and Mary Elizabeth Smith of Mt. Holly, VA. She was also predeceased by her brother John J. McGagh, Jr. and grandson Sean Nansel.
ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend her Funeral Mass on Tuesday, October 9th at 11:00 at St. James Church, Winter Street Haverhill. Interment will follow in St. James Cemetery, Haverhill. Calling hours will be held on Tuesday morning from 9:00-10:30 at the H.L. Farmer & Sons Funeral Home, 106 Summer St. Haverhill. Contributions in her memory may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. James Parish, 6 Cottage St. Haverhill, MA 01830. Condolences to her family may be made at