Obituary of Miriam Jeannette McMorrow
Jan. 1, 1923 to Nov. 21, 2022
Miriam Jeannette McMorrow died peacefully at her home in San Jose on November 21, following a brief illness. She was born on New Year’s Day in 1923 in Boston, MA, to her parents Bernard Francis Travers and Gertrude Jeannette Travers.
As Donald McMorrow, her husband of 63 years, was in his final days, one of his children was talking to him, reassuring him that his children would take care of Miriam in the years to follow. He smiled broadly and exclaimed, “She has a lot of moxie!” In the nearly century that she lived, she showed she certainly did.
Miriam attended Girls’ Latin and Mission High Schools in Boston, and upon graduation enrolled in Boston Clerical School for one year, then worked as an operator at the Telephone Company in 1941, earning $15 a week. As the war progressed, she took on a second job to help her family. She met her future husband, Donald R. McMorrow, during summer visits to Scituate on Cape Cod, MA, where both families had a summer home. They began dating in August 1944, and were married on April 23, 1946 in the Mission Church, Boston.
Miriam started her married life as a Navy wife, moving whenever her husband’s post changed. She often told her children she believed one needs to “bloom wherever you are planted.” That philosophy would be helpful as she moved her growing family many times, including twice across the country, as Donald left the Navy, pursued graduate study. began teaching at universities, and ultimately left teaching to join the aerospace industry in the 1950’s.
During Donald’s career, their family resided in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and (San Diego) California, before they ultimately settled down in Menlo Park, CA for 23 years. As her youngest children began their college studies, Miriam’s lifelong love for learning reemerged, and she earned her AA degree in in 1976 from Cañada Junior College and BA in Sociology from Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, in 1981.
In early 1982, Donald’s work took him to Rome then Paris, where Miriam enrolled in an Italian language school and used her monthly bus passes to explore her surroundings. Upon their return to the US, Miriam worked at a series of jobs including the VA and a local physician’s office.
Eventually Donald and Miriam retired to the Aptos area in the late 1980’s, and became very involved with their parish, Resurrection Church. They traveled extensively throughout Europe including a memorable trip to the Holy Land. In 2006, they moved to San Jose to be closer to their children. After Donald passed away in 2009, Miriam resided at Belmont Village and remained physically and mentally active until her final months.
She is survived by her nine children: Marilyn, Don Jr (Judy), John (Shari), Susan (Dan), Joe, Jim (Mary), Kathy, Greg (Jackie), and Brian (Nora), and by 12 grandchildren and seven great- grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Donald and her four brothers and sisters.
A vieiwngwill be held on Friday, Dec 9 at Resurrection Church in Aptos from 1 to 1:30 p.m. with the Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 1:30. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations can be made to a scholarship fund or charity of one’s choice.