Dorothea "Daf" Claridge Murray

Murray Dorothea

Full Name
Dorothea Murray

Date of Birth
Friday, November 28th, 1924

Date of Death
Thursday, November 7th, 2019


Dorothea “Daf” Claridge Murray, age 94, of Erie, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 7, 2019.  She was born on November 28, 1924, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, the daughter of the late Bertram and Helen Richardson Claridge.  She was the granddaughter of the Archbishop of Fredericton, 9th Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Canada, John Andrew Richardson and Dora Fortin Richardson.

She spent her childhood in Matane, Quebec, a remote area along the St. Lawrence River on the Gaspe` Peninsula, where her father managed all of Hammermill Paper Company's operations in Canada.  They were the only English speaking family in Matane, and she quickly became fluent in French because of the day to day conversations with  their two French speaking maids. Where they lived, there were no other children in the area, and as a result, she and her brother John became the best of friends exploring the area together with their faithful Newfoundland dog.  Also, because the area was remote with no school nearby, she was homeschooled by her mother until the fourth grade, when at the age of nine, she was enrolled and sent 400 miles away to continue her education at the Netherwood Boarding School for Girls in Rothesay, New Brunswick.  During this period she spent many of her summers with her grandparents at their cottage in Smiths Cove, Nova Scotia. In 1939 she and her family moved to Erie where her father served as Vice President of Hammermill Paper Company.  She then attended and graduated from the Mercyhurst Seminary (Prep) in 1942, and went on to  the University of Toronto graduating in 1947 with a B.A. majoring in English Literature.  While at University, she was a member of the Alpha Phi Sorority.

Upon graduation, she moved to New York City and worked for the law firm of Finch and Schaffler and in 1949 returned to Erie and worked for WERC Radio.  It was during this time while visiting with her family in Fredericton, New Brunswick, that she became reacquainted and fell in love with her future husband, Frederick T. Murray.  They were married on December 17, 1949, at the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint Paul in Erie, PA.  They began their life together in the French Canadian village of Kedgwick, New Brunswick, where her husband was the manager of International Paper Company operations for the area.  In 1956, after 7 years in the Canadian north woods, her husband accepted a job from Hammermill, and they moved to Erie with their three children, Ian, Alan and Helen.

She thereafter volunteered for the Hamot Aid Society for 32 years, was an active member of the Junior League of Erie and Delta Sigma Sorority, and additionally was on the board of the Visiting Nurse Association.  She was an avid and accomplished bridge player and played  into her nineties. From her earliest memories she was on skis and especially loved skiing with her family.  She played tennis regularly until the age of 80 and instilled in her children a love of the game.  She traveled often with her true great love, Fred, to Canada, Great Britain, Europe, and especially loved Italy.  They were for 68 years of marriage, in all the ways that matter, important and vital to each other in their shared love.

Dorothea "Daf" was a woman of faith, active in her church at the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint Paul, and for many years served on their Chapter.  She was gifted with a profound intellect, seasoned by a lifetime of reading history, biography, and many of the books featured in the New York Times Book Review.  She especially loved the book club that she participated in for decades, and she always could be counted on (no matter how abstract or challenging the book) to enlighten.  She loved her family above all, and loved them all unconditionally with understanding and a warm heart.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved husband Frederick T. Murray, her beloved son Alan C. Murray, and her dear younger brother, John Claridge.

Dorothea is survived by her son, Democratic National Committeeman Ian Murray, and daughter Helen Murray Richards, eight grandchildren, Mark, John, Noah, Trevor, Eleanor, Alan, Erin, and Ian Patrick, as well as three great grandchildren.  She is further survived by two nieces and a nephew and many cousins.

Friends may call at the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint Paul, 134 W. 7th St., Erie, on Saturday, November 23, 2019 from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m.  Burial will be private at Laurel Hill Cemetery.  Arrangements are entrusted to Burton Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 602 W. 10th St., Erie.  Send condolences at

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Erie County Public Library, 160 East Front Street, Erie, PA 16507.

Calling Hours

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul - 134 W 7th Street Erie, PA 16501

Map & Directions

Service Information

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019, 11:00 AM

Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul - 134 W 7th Street Erie, PA 16501

Map & Directions

On-Call 24 hours Business Office: 602 W 10th Street, Erie, PA 16502