In Memory

Ruth Alyce Murray

14 Dec 1933 - 01 Dec 2023

Mum will be sadly missed by me every minute of every day.

 She was nicknamed “Smiler” as a young girl growing up in her beloved Jericho in central Oxford. Jericho in the 1930s and 1940s was very much a neighbourhood with a flourishing community spirit everyone helping each other and having shared values. Mum remained a committed Jerico girl throughout her life. Although a poor area, it really must have been a special place in its day, and perhaps those kinds of communities where everyone bonds together sadly don’t exist quite so much in the modern world.

 She had a wonderfully happy childhood with loving parents the never forgotten by me,  Bert and Rose (my grandparents), sisters Wyn and Irene, and brother Vic all of whom she loved deeply. My Auntie Irene was outgoing and the life and soul of any party. Auntie Wyn was very wise, determined and relied upon for guidance. Uncle Vic was the trusted rock.

Mum was a proud “Hall” and was named Ruth after Ruth Spooner, whom my grandmother worked for in service and lived in a large house at 9 Polstead Road. Half the nation worked in service before the first World War, its where the name Hall originates, and is probably why I liked watching the 1970s TV drama Upstairs Downstairs so much as it demonstrated what life was like for people in those days, and how hard it could be for many. In her youth, mum liked visiting the house at Polstead Road and listening to piano music played by the Spooner sisters, which probably developed her love for classical music and Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera favoured by her Dad. Although Frank Sinatra remained her favourite.

 She married my Dad Alex at the age of 24 and had a long and happy marriage having 2 children Lousie and I.

 Mum wasn’t at all independent and feared living alone after Dad passed away. So, she lived with me and Maxine for the past 20 or so years. It was challenging at times with mums’ mobility problems, combined with Maxine having Parkinsons and associated Dementia – which of course placed extra stresses upon mum.

 She liked daily trips out in the car and relished tea and cakes. She loathed being “banged up indoors”! We must have visited every tearoom in the country. I’ve never known anyone with such a sweet tooth! She came on many holidays including a first and only trip abroad to Venice in the middle of a heatwave! There were a few scares in Venice with the extreme heat, as she once collapsed against a glass shop frontage. Luckily no lasting harm done though, just my blood pressure soaring through the roof again!

 She loved Louise and her 3 grandchildren Lorna, Heather, and Sophie. Always happiest in the company of children, she had a large part in bringing up the grandchildren and was obsessed with seeing their babies (her great grandchildren).

 In later years mum encountered numerous health problems with neuropathy in her legs and kyphosis of the spine, amongst other concerns which limited her mobility.

 In her late 60s she was diagnosed with the grim prospect of melanoma with a life expectancy of under 6 months. Those days were very difficult to endure for us both. I’d sit up at night and research all manner of new initiatives in America and beyond into ways of combating melanoma and went armed with huge dossiers with plans to discuss with the consultants. I must have been the consultant’s worst nightmare. However, with all avenues exhausted she was prescribed interferon, and against the odds won the long battle against melanoma.

Melanoma is a very aggressive cancer and seems to be prevalent within the Hall lineage as my cousin Elaine was also affected, but again thankfully won her own personal battle. 

I will never ever forget my mother and think about her each day. Her lose has been a huge blow to me personally, but I’m sure that she’s still out there in some shape or form and that one day I’ll fill her in again with all the news and gossip! Until we meet again, rest in peace Mum!


All proceeds go to


So far your kind donations have raised

Share this page