Mrs Elizabeth Murray

A PURPLE haze full of kindness, fun, and love slipped away so unexpectedly, when Liz Murray, from Killyleagh, left this world aged 65.

The shock of her recent passing remains, but the memories and good times are stored forever in the hearts of those who loved and knew her.

A bubbly, kind and well-mannered child, Liz grew to touch the lives of so many, with her wonderful sense of humour, infectious smile and compassion for others.

Growing up with seven brothers and sisters, Liz adored her family. Her parents, Tommy and Nellie Patterson created a loving home in Irish Street Killyleagh, before moving the family to 26 Grove Park, the place Liz always called home.

Attending St Mary’s Primary School in Irish Street, she made lifelong friends, learning, laughing and playing. Her love of fashion and style developed during her teenage years, keeping up with the latest colourful trends.

She enjoyed high school, heading to St Colmcille’s, Crossgar, where her sporting ability shone and sparked her love of staying active right up until the week she passed away.

Leaving school at the age of 15, Liz worked in Grayson’s Fabrics on the Saul Road, Downpatrick, before moving on to the Lindsays at Killyleagh, where she cleaned and looked after the family home.

However, it was during her later teenage years at the local youth club that her beautiful warm smile and long dark hair caught the attention of the man with whom she would go on to spend 50 years.

Conn Murray was the lucky man to win her heart and they married in August 1975 at St Mary’s Star of the Sea, Killyleagh. The reception at the Dunmore Hotel began their 45-year marriage, which would see them become parents to a beautiful baby boy, Paul in 1977.

A devoted wife, she shared a competitive spirit with Conn and they had many similar interests. He loved the way the simple things in life gave Liz the most joy. Watching the sun rise and set or feeling the warmth of the afternoon sun on her skin as she sat out the front with a good book, watching the world go by.

Liz always looked for the best in others. She was an exceptionally caring and compassionate woman with an empathic, kind heart. She supported her friends and those she cared for quietly, doing whatever she could to help with patience and tenderness.

Her son, Paul, was her pride and joy. Watching him grow into a wonderful young man and supporting him along the way, she was content knowing he was happy and settled with Lyn. Paul made her feel happy and fulfilled. 

Along with her sisters Ann and the late Marion, Liz created many memories for their children with a variety of local day trips. Tyrella, Kilclief beach, and Tollymore Forest Park were favourites for a picnic, with Liz at the wheel of the car.

Ann, Marion, Paul, John, Neil and James just about fitted into the car, hoping her sometimes inaccurate sense of direction, would get them to where they were supposed to be. They recall Liz regularly making them walk further than they would have preferred and when asked how much longer, her most likely reply response would be “just around the next corner”, which inevitably turned out to be more than just one corner. 

Liz was delighted to attend the births of Ann’s youngest children, Lee and Rebecca. Little did she know then how close Rebecca and she would become, as over the years Liz encouraged her to play many sports and beamed with pride at her achievements.

She loved their regular appearances together in the back pages of the Down Recorder, trips with the golf club and reminding Rebecca that she would not be as professional as her until she got a hole-in-one, as she had.

Liz worked for several years in Northern Ireland Spinners, Killinchy, and made many friends there. Popular and well-liked, Liz loved a good chat and a laugh. When the factory closed, Liz was employed in Tor Bank School, Dundonald which she really enjoyed.

Her love for children blossomed as she strived to encourage, guide and nurture all in her care. Liz took delight in enabling children to do well and supported many young people to reach their full potential. She thrived when a move took her to Knockevin School, Downpatrick, where Liz became a much-loved colleague and friend.

The pupils’ faces would light up as she entered the room with her beaming smile, a heart of gold and an element of mischief. She was fun to be with and had a special ability to interact with pupils who needed the most attention. Never one to miss a party, Liz would be there to the end, enjoying every moment. When she retired, she kept in contact with many colleagues, reliable and supportive as ever, one of a kind.

Never one to rest on her laurels, Liz loved to travel and enjoyed holidays to Germany, Spain, Lanzarote and France. Only Liz could travel the whole way to Paris for the Eiffel Tower to be closed when she arrived.

She also cherished her visits to Plymouth, England, to visit her brother, Richard, and his family. She called to see her brothers in Killyleagh and Shrigley as much as possible, catching up, smiling, happy and supporting them when they needed it most. 

She enjoyed buying gifts for family too, watching their expressions upon opening, especially when knowing there was a humorous meaning to her choice. A very thoughtful person, she laughed as her brother Tommy opened a 70th birthday gift to reveal she had bought him a grave.

Liz had a special relationship with her younger sister and best friend, Ann. They were like two peas in a pod and usually, when Liz appeared, always out in front, Ann was never too far behind. A lifetime shared and very protective of one another, even as children, both kind and gentle in nature.

Named Aunty Bea by Rebecca, Liz was delighted when Ella, her nephew Lee’s daughter, was born. She adored chatting to children and many stopped at her garden to say hello.

Liz faithfully attended Mass every week and it was an important part of her life from childhood. Just like her quiet displays of kindness for others, this compassion was continued in prayer. Private, yet deeply personal prayer, always thinking of others. 

There was a certain sparkle to Liz, reflected in her many friends and enjoyed by her family. She loved a night out with all the ladies from Crossgar Golf Club, a dance to Purple Rain, a walk round the roads to put the world to rights and living life to the full. She wanted to be remembered by her cyber purple hair and colourful clothes. 

Liz diligently looked after others, had cared for her parents and maintained a close relationship with her nieces and nephews. She nipped in and out of No 6 many times a day, complaining about a recipe she had altered slightly which hadn’t turned out the way it was supposed to, or just to hear some craic. 

Liz Murray had an incredibly special ability to lift people with her smile and friendly nature. Who am I she would say, not realising how remarkable and inspiring she had been to others throughout her life. Liz always thought of everyone else before herself, and left instructions to remind those who loved her she will never be far away, always in their hearts.

Liz leaves her beloved husband Conn and precious son Paul. She was a much-loved sister of Thomas, Michael, Edward, Richard, Ann and the late Gerald and Marian. 

Now resting peacefully in Patterson’s row with those gone before her, the sun will continue to rise and set, memories of her beautiful smile a permanent reminder of the wonderful, cherished person she truly was.