Lavinia Murphy Walsh, 100, died April 20, surrounded by family, at the home of her daughter, Ann Marie Regan.
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Lavinia was born Nov. 11, 1919, to Thomas and Agnes McNamara Murphy of Olyphant. She was orphaned at an early age, and lived with various relatives, until her wedding on Dec. 13, 1943, to James E. Walsh of Jessup. They were married for 37 years. She spent most of her adult life in Jessup and in Clarks Summit. A devout Catholic, she was a member of St. James, Jessup, and Our Lady of the Snows, Clarks Summit. Lavinia was a remarkably strong woman who spent her life in service to others — her family, her faith and to her friends. (And, lest we forget, to the Democratic Party. She especially admired presidents FDR and JFK, and campaigned for President Barack Obama while in her 90’s.) A staunch believer in the value of hard work she was employed at various times by the Bell Telephone Company, by the State of Pennsylvania and St. Joseph’s Center. She was the borough secretary, in Jessup, and an Avon representative when she was in her 80’s. Lavinia loved music, reading and dancing. A wonderful cook, she opened her door to anyone who needed a meal or a sympathetic ear. The matriarch of both the Murphy and Walsh families, she acted as a moral compass for her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews; if mom or grandma or Aunt Lavinia said that something was ok, then it was.
She was a member of Living a New Life, a founding member of the Bedford Towers book club and of the Irish Cultural Society. She was very proud of her Irish heritage and both trips there provided her with some of her treasured memories. Lavinia was articulate and loved to debate politics (you might call it arguing). She was independent to a fault, very brave and forgiving, and was willing to sacrifice herself to provide for fine educations for her children. Lavinia was extremely intelligent, she had the McNamara gift with words, both spoken and written. Lavinia was known for her kindness and generosity and her love of the underdog in any situation and she was willing to see the best in anyone. Despite her difficult early years, she created a precious and beautiful life for all of us.
She is survived by daughters Karen Walsh, Scott Twp.; Ann Marie Regan (fiancée of John Chrusciel), Clarks Summit; by son, James J. Walsh (Karen), Jessup; by grandchildren, Matthew Regan (Nicole), Philadelphia; Molly Regan, Houston, Texas; Gabrielle Palmieri (David Pigga), Greenfield Twp.; John Palmieri (Eileen), Archbald; Anne Palmieri, Scott Twp.; James R. and Lauren Walsh, Jessup; and Elizabeth and Zachry Pigga, Dunmore; by great-grandchildren, James Lewis, Ryan and Daniel Regan, and Noreen Palmieri.
She was predeceased by her husband, James E. Walsh; son-in-law, Joseph G. Regan II; and grandson, Joseph G. Regan III, by sisters, Margaret Tuthill, Agnes Donath; brothers, John and Mart Murphy; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Those who wish to honor her life can make a donation to St. Joseph’s Center, Scranton. A memorial Mass will be held at a later date to be determined. Burial services will be private.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of the Arthur A. Albini Funeral Home, Jessup.