A friend of a friend -Rita Murray-Brian Murray-July 27


One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for July 27, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

On Friday night during dinner in New Jersey with my brother Pat and his wife Marcee my wife and I caught up with each other’s work lives, family, friends, and our old childhood neighborhood in Morristown, NJ. As we talked about our old Lake Road home we spent time talking about the Murray’s our next door neighbors.

My brother and I were both friends with the Murray kids especially Brian who was the same age as my brother Pat.

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Brian and my brother have always been close friends. Brian has alway been an entrepreneur and I can remember him shortly after getting out of school opening up a restaurant in Morris Plains, NJ right on US 202. Today he is president of  Provident Services Associates that does a lot of work cleaning commercial filters and other related business services.

Brian and his wife have been married since 1984 and have 12 children.

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He was the youngest of four siblings. He has a brother who is a priest, another brother Kevin who was a baseball coach and a sister named Susan. I always wondered if having the Kenney’s living next door to Brian Murray with our six kids made him think large families were the norm. as the father to five children I tip my fatherhood hat to Brian for having twelve. I realize how hard of a commitment that is for he and his wife

As my brother and I talked about the neighborhood we also discussed Brian’s mother Rita Murray.

The Friend-BRIAN MURRAY

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The Friend of a Friend-RITA MURRAY

Mama Reet

If you grew up on Lake Road in the 1960’s it seemed everyone had a certain reverence for Brian’s mom Rita Murray. She got the nickname Mama Reet.

Rita was also a good friend to my mom. She kept backyard events in check. She and her late husband Brendan were good people and neighbors.

Back in May on Mother’s Day Brian wrote a tribute to his mom that i thought I would share.

My mom, Rita Morrison Murray and Pat Lynch Kenney were dear friends. They lived next door to each other for 50 years and raised their families together. Both were Irish, devout Catholics and both had a love of horses.

My mom’s dad was not a famous jockey but he was a blacksmith in Morristown were my mom was born. Both sets of her Grandparents moved to Morristown from Ireland.

My mom is 97 and still with us. She lives on her own in the house I grew up in. While Dan Kenney is the oldest in his family I am the youngest. I have two brothers and a sister. My oldest brother is a priest and my mom knew he would be from the time he was in the womb but she never shared that with him until after he was ordained.

The rest of us did pretty well although those who know me growing up could argue the point about me. Mom has sixteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. My mom knew how to live though difficulties and challenges, she learned to swim and drive car when she was in her 40’s but she also managed to keep our family going on a very tight budget. She is compassionate.

I remember her having many a “cup of tea” with a friend who was going through a difficulty. They came to her for wisdom and support. Now at 97 many of her dear friends have passed on but rather than become lonely she simply acquires new (and younger) friends.

Happy Mothers Day Mom, we love you! Brian Murray

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