Cover photo for Louise G. Murphy's Obituary
1923 Louise 2024

Louise G. Murphy

February 25, 1923 — February 24, 2024


GARDNER - Louise Grace (der Sahagian) Murphy passed away on February 24, 2024 after a brief illness, one day before her 101st birthday. She was born in Worcester MA , the daughter of Haroutun (Harry) and Serpouhi (Jorjorian) and was a proud first generation Armenian American. Her parents immigrated from Kesserig, Armenia to the United States to escape the Armenian Genocide.

She married the love of her life in 1956, her beloved, James David “Jim” Murphy. They were happily married for 53 years until his passing in 2009. They were the perfect couple, in love from the moment they met, saving every card and love letter they wrote to each other. Donna was their first born, followed by twins, Sheila and Sherrill. Her life’s calling was being a devoted wife and mother. She had such a motherly presence, she considered many to be her “honorary children.” Louise graduated from New Woodland Prep, Commerce High School and the Worcester School of Business Science. She studied voice with the influential instructor Miss Iride Pilla at the Boston Conservatory of Music. She was a lyric soprano with the voice of an angel. 

She worked at the Worcester Mutual Fire Insurance Company at 49 Elm Street as private secretary for the Vice President and was manager of the Endorsement Department. She made lifelong friends, forming the “49ers” social group that faithfully met from 1948 until recently. After raising her children, she worked for the Greater Gardner Credit Bureau, as a secretary at Bergeson Wood Products and was assistant bookkeeper, and secretary at Country Home Furnishings, retiring in 1993. She began singing at an early age. At 12, she joined the choir at the Laurel Street Armenian Church in Worcester. She sang in the chorus of the Worcester Music Festival and was one of the youngest participants. She was a member of the choir and a soloist at the Armenian Church of Our Saviour in Worcester, where she was a lifelong member. She was a member of the Paul Breault chorale and a soloist at the Holy Rosary Church in Gardner. She had the honor of singing the National Anthem on the USS Massachusetts commemorating the 45th Anniversary of the signing of the document that ended WWII on the USS Missouri. She enjoyed cooking Armenian food, singing, playing the piano, reading, gardening, bird watching, decorating and time spent with family and friends, especially at her annual Christmas Eve party. She was a member of the Women’s Guild at her Church, The Gardner Museum, and the Gardner Democratic City Committee. With Jim, she attended Massachusetts’ Democratic Party Conventions and worked as a volunteer for many local, state and national campaigns. 

She leaves her beloved daughters, her special first cousin Irene Sahatjian, her children Susan Labandibar (Bob Master) and Alan Sahatjian (Theresa Lynn), cousins Dolly Tharp (Stephen), Tom Teager (Pat), Kim Teager (wife of David who predeceased her) and their children and grandchildren. She leaves her nephews George and Brian Murphy, her lifelong best friend, Pauline Agazarian and her family, and her dear friend Jean Blaquiere. She leaves many cousins and friends whom she cherished. Besides her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her beloved brothers Oscar and Ardavast der Sahagian and her baby sister, Mary; her dearest first cousins June Sahagian and Gloria Teager; nephew Kevin Murphy, and her lifelong friend and “sister,” Irene Shooshan. 

Callahan-Fay and Caswell Life Celebration Home, 61 Myrtle Street, Worcester, is in charge of arrangements. Louise’s wake will be Friday, March 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Viewing at the Armenian Church of Our Saviour, 87 Salisbury Street, Worcester is from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on March 2, followed by a funeral Mass at 11:00. Burial will be in St. John’s Cemetery, West Street, Gardner, MA on Monday, March 4 at 11:00am. Family and friends are invited. Donations may be made in her name to the Armenian Church of Our Saviour, 87 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609 or to the Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation, 444 Green Street, Gardner, MA 01440, with a notation that says for the “James D. and Louise G. Murphy Scholarship Fund.”

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