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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 14, 2008

Thelma Peterson Murphy

DELANSON — Thelma Peterson Murphy, who owned a motel and ice cream store with her late husband, died on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008, at Cobleskill Regional Hospital. She was 84.

"They both loved the Delanson Methodist Church," said Mrs. Murphy’s son, Larry Murphy. "For years, always."

"She always enjoyed people, visiting, going out to dinner with people. They used to do that a lot with their friends. Weekends, they’d get together for different ones, and they’d go to all these dinners that would be put on by fire departments, or churches, or organizations. They enjoyed doing that," he said.

Born in Knox in 1923, Mrs. Murphy was the daughter of the late Oscar and Jennie Larson Peterson. She graduated from Duanesburg schools and grew up on the Peterson Farm on Bozenkill Road in Knox.

"My mother, she grew up on a farm. She did not like farming," said Larry Murphy.

On Nov. 4, 1945, Thelma Peterson married Walter Murphy.

Mrs. Murphy wanted to get off the farm, her son said, so, when she and his father got married, they went to Florida on their honeymoon with a travel trailer.

"That was one of their big things," Larry Murphy said. "My father always owned a travel trailer and they loved trailering."

When they returned from their honeymoon, they built Murphy’s Motel and Luncheonette on Route 20 west of Duanesburg, which they sold in 1955.

"As a matter of fact, the three buildings are still there today," Larry Murphy said.

After they sold their businesses, Mr. Murphy became a trucker, Larry Murphy said, and his mother became a stay-at-home mom, raising him and his sister.

"She was a homemaker. I think she enjoyed raising my sister and myself," he said.

When Larry Murphy had just started school, the Murphys moved to Bradenton, Fla., where they lived for 10 years. Each year, when school was out, they returned to New York.

After a decade in Florida, the Murphys returned permanently to the Capital Region and started Walt’s Ice Cream, which they owned until the mid-1970s.

"My father, he had trucks on the road that delivered ice cream, house to house," said Larry Murphy. "My mother worked there — pretty much run that"I made a lot of ice cream"We had hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries. We had window service — outdoor service."

After retiring, Mr. and Mrs. Murphy spent three months in Florida each winter, said Larry Murphy. They left between Christmas and New Year’s, Larry Murphy said, and returned before or just after his birthday on March 31. They traveled all over the United States, he said.
Walter Murphy died in March of 2006.

"In her last few years — this was after my father passed away, which would be two years in March — she missed him tremendously," Larry Murphy said. "That was very tough on her because they were married 60 years before he passed away."

Mrs. Murphy was involved in her community.

She was a member of the Delanson United Methodist Church, of the Duanesburg Historical Society, and of the Mohawk Holiday Rambler Travel Trailer Group.

In November of last year, Larry Murphy said, the family put his mother in the Sharon Springs Manor Home For Adults.

"She loved it out there"They thought an awful lot of my mother," said Larry Murphy. "They said she was such a very nice lady and friendly, and everybody got along with her very good, and we were hoping she would be there for quite some time," he said.

"She really loved it there. The people were so nice," said Larry Murphy. "It didn’t last that long, but she really enjoyed that, and the people out there enjoyed her there."


Mrs. Thelma Peterson Murphy is survived by her son, Larry Murphy, and his wife, Peggy, of Delanson; her daughter, Linda Lawrence, and her husband, Larry, of Schenectady; and her brother, Carl Peterson, and his wife, Midge, of Delanson. She is also survived by her granddaughter, Cindy Bisnett, and her husband, Torry, of Duanesburg; her grandsons, James Murphy, and his wife, MaryAnn, of Esperance; David Lawrence of Schenectady; and Mike Lawrence of Long Island; and her great-grandson William Murphy of Esperance.

A funeral service was held on Feb. 2 with the Rev. William DeForest officiating. The White-Van Buren Funeral Home in Delanson made the arrangements. Interment will be in the spring at the Grove Cemetery in Quaker Street.

Memorial contributions may be made to Cobleskill Regional Hospital, 178 Grandview Dr., Cobleskill, NY 12043, or to the Delanson United Methodist Church, 112 East Shore Rd., Delanson, NY 12053.

— Tyler Schuling

Joseph Orsini

ALTAMONT — Joseph Orsini, a man who loved to garden and relished sharing its bounty, died on Feb. 7, 2008. He was 80.

The youngest of 14, Mr. Orsini came of age while his brothers were across the Atlantic, fighting in World War II. In 1945, he graduated from the Altamont High School with perfect attendance, said his son, Jason Orsini.

"He didn’t wait," said his son. "As soon as he graduated high school, he joined."

Mr. Orsini worked as a bookkeeper for the Navy and then went on to work at the Army depot in Guilderland Center for 20 years. He was a patriotic man, who valued being American, and he was a deeply faithful one, too, said his son. When his brother, Millard Orsini, was a prisoner of war, Mr. Orsini prayed for 90 days for his safe return. And, on the final day, his mother got a telegram that Millard would be coming home.

"He did the same thing for my mother to marry him," said Jason Orsini. Mr. Orsini and Jeanette Page met in high school, and Mr. Orsini prayed for 90 days that she would marry him, said their son.

The couple settled down and had three sons, living just down the road from his brother and her sister, who had each married.

Mr. Orsini kept a garden, where he grew tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. He loved lettuce, said his son, he had a salad at every meal — and he planted geraniums and impatiens around the yard. He was always eager to share his vegetables and he’d bring bittersweet to Anne and Louise, tellers at Altamont’s bank, said Jason Orsini.

"He was pretty simple," said Jason Orsini of his father. "He’d always take care of people."

Family was also important to Mr. Orsini, who worked for 30 years at Orsini Bros. Excavating. He was also a communicant of St. Lucy’s Church and a member of the Helderberg Post American Legion.

"He was very quiet," said Jason Orsini of his father. "But he was known for his actions."


Mr. Orsini is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jeanette Page Orsini, and their three sons: Joseph Orsini and his wife, Deborah, of Guilderland; John P. Orsini of Guilderland Center; and Jason P. Orsini of Schenectady. He is also survived by his grandson, Ryan Orsini, and his brother, Edward Orsini of Altamont, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. His parents and 12 siblings died before him.

A mass of Christian burial was held on Feb. 11 at St. Lucy’s Church in Altamont. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home, with burial in Fairview Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Lucy’s Food Pantry, Post Office Box 678, Altamont, NY 12009.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

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