Funeral Service

Time: 1.40pm

Date: Monday 22nd February 2021

Service Details:
Due to current restrictions a private family funeral service will be held at Accrington Crematorium. The service will be live streamed for all those who are unable to attend. To login please go to and enter the following username and password. Username Dosa1686 Password 265245

Maureen Murray

Maureen Murray (née Altham), April 1936 – February 2021

After many years of failing health, though with unfailing spirit and courage, Maureen Murray of Great Harwood died aged 84 on 4 February 2021, peacefully, at Royal Blackburn Hospital following a short illness.

For the whole of her long and fulfilling life, Maureen was a familiar, much-loved, active and enthusiastic member of the Great Harwood town community and of the parish of Our Lady and St Hubert’s RC Church. Her work as a Nursery Nurse at St Hubert’s and St John’s primary schools from the 1970s to the 1990s also ensured that she was well known to several generations of Great Harwood’s children, many of whom as adults will remember her with affection and respect (and hopefully not too much fear).

Maureen raised her six devoted children, Damian, Deborah, Nicholas, Jacqueline, Joanne and Helen, in difficult circumstances, but whatever her own challenges and privations she always put them first. The loss of her daughter Deborah in 2018 remained a raw grief for her, though her family, friends and faith sustained her strongly through that sorrow.

In her later and retirement years Maureen revelled in all the many, happy, laughter-filled times she spent with her ever-growing flock of grandchildren and great grandchildren, each of whom she knew well, kept in touch with personally, cherished and loved as the wonderful, unique people they are, and they gave back that love to her many times over. Her family is now scattered across the globe, but Maureen had many memorable international travels with them which she loved to recount in her inimitable, entertaining way. She was a ‘dab hand’ with her iPad and social media and so was always ‘up with the latest’ from the comfort of her settee all the way up to her final weeks.

In Maureen’s last years, with their many illnesses, her youngest daughter Helen also became her daily carer and, with the greatest of patience, cheerfulness and love, she made sure that her Mum not only had a long life, but that it was the very best quality that it could be. Mum’s guardian angel. Words are not enough to express the love and gratitude felt towards Helen by Mum and all of her wider family for her selfless care.

Maureen was also blessed in the wonderful, close friends whom she loved and valued as highly as she did her own family. She was an ‘only child’ herself, but no sister could have been any closer to her than those amazing women, and her children will always know and love them as their ‘aunties’. These truest of friends also comforted, protected and looked after Maureen in her last years. She lit up when she saw or spoke to them, and their memories, stories and riotously funny conversations together will never be forgotten.

In truth, the few words here can do little justice to a long, eventful, complex and storied life, nor to all the positive impacts that Maureen had on her community and on all those who knew and loved her. A few more words might for example include: beautiful, hilarious, long-suffering, crotchety, giving, loyal, bright, artistic, tactless, hardworking, devout, feisty, sensitive, welcoming, demanding, tenacious, stylish, self-sacrificing, perceptive, exasperating, witty, no-nonsense, kind … and on and on. All the vivid, priceless memories she has left will continue to rise and fall, ebb and flow for as long as those who knew her live.

For her family around the world Maureen was their North Star – constant, always there, the reassuring, comforting gleam in the darkness, the safe guide homewards. Shining still – our beloved and fiercely loving Mum, Grandma and Great Grandma, and the dearest of friends. Good night and God bless, Maureen.


Our family also wish to express our immense gratitude to the clinical and nursing staff of Royal Blackburn Hospital, Ward C8, and to the hospital’s RC chaplains, for the sensitive and professional way that they cared for Maureen during her last days.


Family flowers only, donations are being gratefully received in memory of Maureen on behalf of British Heart Foundation via the donate button below.


Please feel free to leave a message for Maureen’s online memorial book by completing the form below.

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MESSAGES for the family of Maureen Murray


Ronny & Family ( Hong Kong )

We didn’t have the chance to know Mom but I know she must have been someone special to have raised a great son Nick and family. Special thanks to Helen for your great effort and love for taking good care of mom. You are an angel !


Charlotte McWilliams

Mrs Murray was apart of my childhood growing up at St Huberts. She later became my sponsor for my Holy Communion (I have photos) She bought me a beautiful book around the 12 commandments I believe it was. Rest well Mrs Murray thank you for guiding me and many others.


Kathryn Kinney

An absolute amazing lady, she always welcomed me into her home and heart since I was approx 12!! Maureen was always smiling, had a fantastic sense of humour and made the world’s best Butter Pie ♥️


Wallace and Jasmin Wong

Jasmin and I wish to express our deepest condolences to the entire Murray family over the passing of Maureen. While we never had the opportunity to meet her, we felt we already knew her through all the heartfelt stories Nick shared with us throughout the years. We take solace in the fact that Maureen is resting peacefully. May all of you continue to stay safe and well.


Julia Ashworth

Maureen lit up the room with her positivity and good humour. She always managed to cheer me up.


Elizabeth Ashworth

Helen and family, so sorry for your loss and our loss of ‘Mrs Murray’ Her laugh was always recognisable and often heard in the background and she had a warm smile. One of Great Harwood’s characters. My thoughts are you all . Love from Liz xx


Stephanie Baron

I have many memories of Mrs Murray, that’s how I remember her , standing on the corner of the playground at St Huberts with Mrs Hands, watching all the children ,always caring but didn’t stand for any naughtiness  either , also in church, she always sat behind us and you never dare turn around ???? , sending Lots of love to the family , she will be very much missed xxx


Eileen and Frank Hayes

So many happy, hilarious times at the Summit Meetings with Maureen. She’s like a rainbow over those friends she’s left behind.


Steven Rutter

I was so sorry to hear of Mrs. Murray passing away . Our family were nearby neighbours for many years – and Maureen and my mum went on some amazing holidays together . Her husband Joe was a pal of my dads and they spent many happy hours together in the pub nearby discussing their interest in boxing . My mum is in terrible pain with hip trouble so she’s asked me to send her love to all your family too.


Liz Mitton

Such a wonderful tribute to Maureen. As a work colleague and friend I have so many memories of Maureen and her amazing sense of humour. The works was a much better place with Maureen in it.Sincere condolences to the whole family. Gone but never forgotten. Rest in peace. Xx


Ann Whalley

Sending sincere condolences to all the family. With fond and happy fun filled memories of Maureen’s wicked sense of humour.A wonderful person, full of beans and plenty of amusing tales. A privilege to have known her. Xx


Karen White (Rutter)

We grew up with Maureen as our close neighbour. She always had a smile and a kind word for everyone. She was a lovely and loved woman who will be sadly missed by everyone who knew her xx


Shaun Davies

Sleep well, Gran. Your presence on this earth will never be forgotten nor can it be ever be filled. I know that you will be present for our family and friends in the shape of the sun during the day and the moon at night. I miss you very much and I love you very much. Xx



Wow what an amazing lady and an amazing artist. I am so blessed to have known mrs Murray from my primary school days till now where I am nearly 47. A classy and special lady who touched everyone who met her. She will be sadly missed. God bless xxxx



Amazing lady! She was my dinner lady at St Johns, she was gentle and kind and was a wonderful lady. I remember she inspired me to love art, she gave me a Claude Monet book and I will always remember her talking to me about it.


Margaret Stanley

So sorry for your loss. I remember Maureen from lots of different times. One was the five years when I worked at St. John’s school. We were both at the Nuttall Avenue building, Maureen helped the children make special crafted things and she was always lovely with them. We had lots of laughs! As a member of G.H. Mothers’ Club I’ve known Maureen for 40 years. I remember going on the MC annual walk once, when she had problem and had to stop and go back. We were walking together so I did too & kept her company and we waited for a bus to go back. But, again, we had a laugh all the way! We’ve lost a great character, a lovely lady and a friend. ???? xxx


Ann Carrick Wilson

My Love to you All at this time of sadness on the loss of your Mum. What a beautiful Eulogy. Love Ann x


Carole Haythornthwaite,  Secretary Bank Mill House Senior Citizens’ Centre

Maureen was a valuable, well respected and absolutely lovely member of our Executive. Rest in Peace.


Gill Rawlinson and Family

In memory of Maureen she will be remembered with love and gratitude by myself and Louise& Helen. Maureen kept both entertained and in check throughout their primary years at St. Huberts. God Bless.


Marian Rutter

Safe in the arms of Jesus. Goodbye me my dear friend.


Karen Lord

I cant call her anything other than Aunty Maureen. From my junior School days when Auntie Maureen looked after us after school until my mum finished work she was a safe place for us to be. Despite 6 children of her own, she had the kindness and tenacity to care for close neighbours children too. She introduced me to pottery painting which I took up for several years at the age of 17. I cant say anyone else was like her. The strength she must have had during those hard times in the 60s is incredible. I have so many memories of her and I cannot recall a time when she wasn’t smiling or laughing. I’m sure there were times but I never saw them. I remember she had a dog called candy that seemed to live forever. Eating chips on the street from Jacks chippy and all the children on the street playing out until it went dark. I remember her knitting what must have been hundreds of small dolls for charities. With everything she had on her plate she still made time for charities. I remember mum made a cake for my brothers birthday and was so awful, that for the remaining 50 years – it was mentioned at every opportunity with hysterical laughter. Its memories like these that remain forever in my heart. I am so deeply saddened that she’s no longer here and the last 12 months have been impossible for any visitors for her apart from direct family. I will always remember my Aunty Maureen with very happy memories of a lovely strong smiling lady. Xxx


Grant, Linda and family

Our deepest condolences to you all at this time your mum was an amazing person and will be missed by all.


Mavis Lord

So sorry for the loss of your Mum, l’ve missed her since Lockdown, she had a hard life but never moaned about anything always made you laugh. Keep losing this text so can’t remember what l’ve put l know l missed the flower arrangement name she had without flowers, it was M ist Over Pendle, can’t see the flowers for the Mist, although l could go on forever, too many memories like visits to Patching with painting class, visits to London, they will stay with me for ever, and still make me laugh so good – bye friend xx When l first moved to Gt Harwood , she was the first person who spoke to me, thats 62 yrs ago and we’ve been best of friends ever since she always madame laugh, she always had something to say that was funny, l will miss my Birthday card from her it always said Happy Birthday from your young friend, she was 2 weeks younger and she sent me some wrinkle cream once, l will miss her, we joined all sorts of clubs once flower arranging and had to have a name for what we did, Maureen brought a container of soil and grass & when we asked where a re the flowers.


Sheenagh Welsh (art)

What a lovely lovely lady, she was the bright star at the art class, full of tales of happening she will be so missed by all the family and friends god bless you Maureens love Sheenagh and tony xxxxx in her life always jolly.


Pauline McKeon

My deepest condolences to all the family on the death of Maureen. Maureen and I worked together at Our Lady and St. Hubert’s school for nearly twenty years. She had great energy and enthusiasm and made a huge contribution to the lives of so many children – teaching, guiding and encouraging them. Maureen was my work colleague but she was also my friend. She was a lovely lady, considerate, kind and funny. She had a wicked sense of humour and always made me laugh. Spending time with Maureen was always a pleasure. She will be greatly missed. Xxx


Debbie and Gareth

So very sorry to hear of Maureen’s death. We lived just across, she would take our parcels if we were out and we would take her cakes when we baked. A sad loss.


Judith McKelvey

Maureen was such a lovely lady with a wicked sense of humour. She was a very valued member of Trinity Luncheon Club and on several occasions I picked her up to take her to social events at Trinity and took her home afterwards. Sincere condolences to all of Maureen s family. “There is no safer place to leave anyone than in the arms of The Lord.”:


Jill Coglan

My deepest sympathy to you all. I know that Maureen will leave a big hole in your lives & will be sadly missed. She was a wonderful lady & was loved deeply.


Melvyn Youds

Maureen will be very much missed. From Melvyn, Barbara and family.


Kumar from Leicester

Remembering her wonderful and gentle soul will forever remain in our hearts. May she rest in peace. God bless????????


Barbara Phelan

Your Mother will never be forgotten. She helped so many children over the years. She was a good friend to everyone she met. She is at peace now.


Barbara Phelan

Your Mother will never be forgotten. She helped many children and was a good friend. She is now at peace.


The Cockett family

In memory of our lifelong friend Maureen, who always saw the brighter side of life. and lifted the spirit. May she rest in peace.


Lindsay, Olly, Shannon and Family

May your lovely mother Rest in Peace. God bless her and you all at this sad time. I’m a friend of Joanne and my daughter Shannon is Erin’s best friend. We always heard lots of lovely stories about Maureen and the special times you all shared together. We also loved seeing the pictures from Christmas. Thinking of all her wonderful friends and family and especially Maureen’s children who can’t get to England to be with their siblings. All our love xxxxxx


Mandi, James, Sukai, Sarah and Erika

Maureen was a lovely lady and much loved wherever she went! We always enjoyed her visits with us here in California and she and her friend Marianne were so much fun! Sending you all our love and you are in our thoughts and prayers. xoxoxo


Mark Hodson

I feel so blessed to have had a grandma as wonderful as Grandma Murray. The tributes on this page echoing what we all could see. A resilient, talented lady with a sense of humour so sharp she could chop you down to size with a quick quip from behind her glasses! Uncle Nicholas said it best…She could tell you everything about everyone in the family or town without ever leaving her sofa. She has an enormous interest in people and loved to see people succeed however big or small. There was never a visit to the house that wasn’t punctuated with sugary tea a great choice of biscuits and the latest news on how everyone was doing. Despite living in the US for the last 20 years, Gran never missed a birthday or holiday for me or my children…every time I called she’s say “Oh I see you’re phone is finally working again 🙂 “ I’ll miss my Grandma dearly but will only ever remember her with tremendous happiness and pride. She never accepted poor behaviour but also stood strong in her friends and families corner willing to do anything to lend her love and support. She had a degree in cleaning your face with spit and a hanky as well as a doctorate in cleaning your ears with a knitting needle. An incredible lady with many talents that simmered beneath the surface. I’m still sure I’m the only 40 something man in hermosa beach who can knit and that’s all down to one lady. Rest In Peace Grandma. I’m so grateful for every wonderful memory you have given us all. Love Mark. Grandson number 1 xxx


Jeanette Murray

Saddened to lose my lovely mother in law who always made me welcome and still part of the Murray family. Love and condolences to Maureen’s family and friends. Love always for Maureen xxx


Valerie Culican and Irene Barber

So sorry that we could not pay our respects yesterday to our good friend Maureen, many fond memories from our time in the Mother’s Club together. Thinking of you all at this sad time.


Oliver Thomson

Sending sincere condolences to all the family of Maureen. She was a truly special lady who was much loved by all who met her, I wish I had gotten to know her better. x


Stephanie and Jonathan Gorstige, and family

Sending heartfelt condolences to the Murray family for your sad loss. Maureen was a remarkable lady and I will always have fond memories of her.