I had initially prepared early last week to draft a sunny little note to our readers and the many friends I have made in Garden City about my happy news that after three years of printing engagement and wedding announcements it is I who am to be wed: Amy Sarah Edel to Wed Benjamin Jeffrey Vaughn. The sadder side of this story then was that my fiancé lives in Philadelphia and, while we had planned to settle here in New York, his career now dictates his remaining there. As a result, I am now feverishly packing for the moving truck, scheduled to leave for Philadelphia at 5 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 25.
As I was beginning my good-byes, glowing with well wishes, I heard the news that my friend, advisor, and greatest resource, Eileen Murphy, was suffering with the sudden loss of her husband, Edward P., who passed away in the early hours of Tuesday, Feb. 15. As I plan my new life and reflect on how grateful I am for the opportunity to walk in Eileen's shoes for three years, my heart is heavy knowing the loss that she now feels.
Friday morning in St. Joseph's Church, Charles F., Edward P., Jr. and Thomas Cuff all spoke at the conclusion of the Mass of Christian Burial about the legacy their father leaves behind. They spoke of his tireless dedication to the parish at St. Joseph's with his daily attendance at mass in his retirement years and his service to the Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, following in the footsteps of his father-in-law, Justice Thomas Cuff. They also spoke with great love and admiration of the beautiful balance of the relationship between the quiet, tough construction businessman and their mother, the loquacious, and always spirited writer and community leader and activist. Grandchildren Edward, Charles, Julia, Mary Beth, Patrick, Thomas, John, Eryl, Jessie, Adam and baby Abigail were beautiful testimonials to the love and commitment the beloved patriarch held for his family.
Thomas recounted the moving moments on board his plane home from London, passing Ireland, the land from which the Murphy family emigrated when his grandfather left Cork. As he approached Long Island he asked the captain to tip the wing in honor of his father who had served in WW2 in flight support efforts. Stewardess Cavanaugh guided the pilot to the exact location of Garden City and from the plane Thomas called his mother and told her to gather the family out in front of their home on Chestnut Street to watch. They could see the plane clearly as this tribute was made.
Here at Anton Community Newspapers, Eileen Murphy has been part of the family for 15 years and the hearts of everyone here are with our admired first editor of Garden City Life, known affectionately by all of her friends here as "The Murph."
As I prepare to take my leave to begin a new life with Ben, I am very aware of my connections here. Through this tragedy I can see all of the blessings that Eileen Murphy has known in her rich and joyful life with her husband and her family and I can only hope to someday know some of these same joys.
Inspired by the incalculable contributions Eileen made to this publication as a resident and editor and later as a friend of the paper, we have selected Garden City resident Susie Trenkle to take the helm. She has been editor of the Levittown Tribune and Massapequan Observer and has contributed articles to Garden City Life. Next week will be my last issue, with Susie overseeing the production Monday, Feb. 28.
There are so many people I need to thank within the Village for all of their help, guidance, support and input that the list of individuals in this remarkable community would need its own column. Thanks for the releases, photos, letters, and announcements we receive weekly and the ever growing number of subscribers and newsstand supporters of this paper. Thank you all.