Maija Lakstigala Murray, 92, formerly of Whiting
HAVERHILL, Mass. — Maija Lakstigala Murray passed away peacefully on March 11, 2021, at the age of 92, due to a chronic illness.
Maija was born in Riga, Latvia, to Jekabs and Emilija (Celms) Lakstigala. When the U.S.S.R. invaded Latvia in the fall of 1944, she and her family fled to a displaced persons camp in Esslingen, Germany. Maija was sponsored to come to the U.S. by Grinnell College in November of 1949. She arrived at college with just the clothes on her back and no knowledge of the English language. Despite this, she earned a B.A. degree in Chemistry in 1952 and became a published author while working at her first chemistry job in Appleton, Wis.
She met her husband James Murray on a ski trip to Stowe, Vt. Marriage, kids, living in Dayton, Ohio; Schenectady, N.Y.; and East Brunswick, N.J.; followed. She worked as a chemist at Johnson & Johnson for 15 years and retired in 1988. She and Jim then moved to Whiting, Vt., where they shared 30 blissful years skiing, hiking, biking and enjoying all Vermont has to offer.
Maija is fondly remembered for her love of her family, buttermilk, the scent of pine woods and sipping Glühwein in winter.
Maija is survived by her children Kathy, Anne and Susan Murray; her grandchildren Trevor, Andrew, Anna, Kendra, Grant and Livia; and her nephews Andris and Robert Lakstigala. She is predeceased by her beloved son Thomas, her husband James, her siblings Ilze, Andris and Juris Lakstigala, and her niece Ingrid Lakstigala.
A private memorial service will be held when conditions allow, and her ashes will be scattered in the mountains of Vermont. Care of the Murray family has been entrusted to the J. S. Pelkey and Son Funeral Home. ◊