Mary Catherine McMurtrey, 92, of Idaho Falls, died September 23, 2001, at Life Care Center. She was born March 13, 1909, at Idaho Falls, to William H. Sweeney and Mary Ellen Maxwell Sweeney. She was a member of the pioneer Sweeney family, which constructed many of the buildings in downtown Idaho Falls. She attended Catholic schools in Salt Lake City and Coeur d'Alene, where she took pride in being taught by nuns. She then attended the University of Idaho Southern Branch (now Idaho State University) and then the University of California at Berkeley, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in education. Following graduation she taught school in a one room schoolhouse across the Snake River from Irwin. This was a traditional one room schoolhouse, where she taught grades 1-8, had to stoke the fire, and carry out all other responsibilities. She even had to ford the river on horseback to reach the school upon occasion. She married Calvin Lewis McMurtrey August 23, 1932, at Dillon, Montana, and they made their home on the Antelope Bench, outside of Ririe, where they farmed. Her husband passed away August 8, 1987. She was a member of the Roman Catholic Church. She enjoyed playing pinochle, loved to travel, loved her family, and loved company and conversation. She was a longtime member of Swan Valley Ladies Club. She traveled to Italy, where she met the Pope. She also fulfilled a lifelong dream to visit Ireland.
She was preceded in death by her husband, son Dennis, and two brothers. Funeral services were held Thursday, September 27, 2001, at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, 1690 E 17th St, with Father Bill Crowley officiating. Burial was in Ririe-Shelton Cemetery, directed by Wood Funeral Home.
(Obit courtesy Ellis & Lynn)
Calvin Lewis McMurtrey
1908–1987 (m. 1932)
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