The Passing of an Amazing Schroon Laker: Rita Murdock


Rita Claire Murdock passed away at age 93 at her home on January 22, 2016.  So many folks in Schroon Lake and surrounding areas have many fond memories of this remarkable woman. Our condolences to all our Rita’s family and friends. This tribute is from her daughter Rita:

"I'm sending this from Moms Pc this is her list for family. She felt you were all in her family. She passed on Friday morning and has gone to a better place.  Thank you all so much for being part of her life and the joy that you brought to it . I'm attaching her obituary.

 Rita Claire LeGault Murray Murdock Obituary

Rita Claire (LeGault) (Murray) Murdock was taken by God at age 93 at her home on January 22, 2016 in New Smyrna Beach, FL after a lengthy illness. She was born August 16, 1922 to Archie and Alma LeGault in Watertown, Jefferson County, NY.  Rita graduated from Watertown High School with high honors in June 1939 at age 16. Her first job was at the first Woolworth’s store in the world, in Watertown, at 23 cents an hour after school on weekends.  Following school she went to work for J. J. Newberry’s on the fabric counter where she learned to love fabrics and became an expert seamstress, making clothes for her, family and friends.

She married Christopher (Chris) James Murray at Sacred Heart Church in Watertown on October 5, 1940.  They had three children, Gail Patricia, Kathryn Theresa and Christopher James.  She worked as a cashier for the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company for 13 years.  She loved reading, cooking, bowling, math and writing the occasional poem.  Chris served in WWII and didn’t see his son until he was ten months old.  Chris died an accidental death on July 17, 1961 after 21 years of marriage. 

She met Francis Russell Murdock of Schroon Lake, NY at a bowling tournament, sponsored by the ELKS, in Watertown. They were married two months later in July 1963.  (They couldn’t afford the phone bills!)  They moved to Schroon Lake, NY where they built a new home in town.  In 1979 they sold the house in town and moved to a small cottage on the lake and built a lovely three story home.  She started as a secretary and became paralegal for Judge M.  Leo Friedman for twelve years, and later working for local attorneys.  She retired in August, 1984.  They transferred the lake house to her daughter Kay’s family in 1997 and moved permanently to New Smyrna Beach, FL.  They spent several years as snowbirds, spending summers in Schroon Lake.  She belonged to the New Smyrna Beach Municipal Golf Club and was an avid golfer winning several tournaments.  They celebrated their 50th anniversary in July 2013. 

She was predeceased by her first husband, Chris, her second husband, Francis, her son Christopher/Harun Murray and two grandsons.  She was the last of all her siblings; Raymond, Ulric, Leo and Phillip LeBlanc, Doris, Henry, George, Theresa and John LeGault.

She is survived by; two daughters, Gail Patricia Murray Beynon (Jeffrey); Kathryn Theresa Murray Belles (Arthur); a daughter in law, Lutfiya Murray (Christopher/Harun), a stepson, Bruce Harold Murdock (Pamela), 15grandchildren, many more great grandchildren as well as several nieces and nephews around the world.

It was Rita’s request to be cremated and no formal services held.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to VITAS and the Salvation Army.  Special thanks to VITAS’ excellent hospice care, their doctors, nurses and aides for all of their caring and friendship. Condolences may be sent to the Belles family at: 57 Bay Road, Schroon Lake, NY 12870.

 Rita and Kay Belles