In Memory of Carole (Blanchard) Graf-Murphy

June 28, 2023

Resided in New Hartford, NY


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Carole (Blanchard) Graf-Murphy, 90, of New Hartford, peacefully passed away in her Richmond, VA home on Wednesday, June 28th to join God as she embarks on her new mission in Heaven.

Born in Brooklyn, NY to Theresa Blanchard-Newberry and Leopold Blanchard, Carole was raised in New Jersey until moving to Utica in the 1970’s. Carole is preceded in death by her parents; loving daughter Kathleen Graf-Procopio; husband David F. Murphy; and first husband John Graf Jr. Carole is survived by two devoted and loving sons John Graf of Atlanta, GA; Paul Graf (Elizabeth D’Avignon-Graf) of Richmond, VA; loving sister Doris Nicastro of Seattle; sister Lucianne DiDonato of NJ; cherished grandchildren Melody, John, Drew, and Gabriella Graf; wonderful niece/nephew Judy/Andy Nicastro of Seattle; three beloved great granddaughters Kacy, Autumn, Emma of Atlanta; and several nieces/nephews in NJ.

Carole was highly driven whose mission in life was to be a great mother, wife, business owner, and friend to anyone she knew. Carole’s ambitions always kept her busy, focused on doing the right thing, and be a productive citizen who made a difference serving others while making those who surrounded her feel special and important about their own lives. It was Carole’s focus to make a mark in this world and impact the life of others encouraging others to do the same. Carole had a zest for life and was a force to be reckoned with putting others’ needs ahead of her own, especially for family, friends, and employees. Carole never gave up on her goals and dreams of being the best person she could be.

Carole attended Mary Help of Christians Academy in Patterson, NJ and graduated from East Orange High School (NJ). During her Catholic school years, Carole is remembered most by her youngest sister Doris as a highly intelligent, loving, indomitable, and protective older sister.

In the late 1940’s and 1950’s, Carole went on to work at Allstate Insurance where she met her first husband John (Jack) Graf before they married in 1955 and raised their three children in West Orange, NJ, and New Hartford. Carole was a relentlessly hard-worker crediting her spirited drive, work-ethic, and love for others to her early life experiences at Mary Help of Christians Academy.

Carole’s unconditional love and empowering support for her children inspired and motivated them. Carole was also a loyal and devoted friend to neighbors and those within the NJ/NY communities she fostered lifelong friendships within. Carole was an equally accomplished businesswoman, humanitarian, animal lover, and a pioneer within the recycling center industry in the late 1960’s. Carole was an influential figure in 1969 when she spoke in front of the NJ State Assembly to present a “Bottle Bill” that eventually passed the Senate. Carole was accompanied by a West Orange native Madeleine Edison (daughter of Thomas Edison). Carole’s driving-force helped spearhead the 1960’s recycling movement which later gained enough economical traction to impact other states across the U.S. to develop similar recycling programs or laws.

In 1981, Carole’s entrepreneurial spirit, work-ethic, and business acumen were put to the test after forming Drudgery Enterprises, Inc. Drudgery served the Central NY community for nearly 35 years as a specialized estate sale liquidation business. Carole and her company became a pillar of strength, a thriving small business employer, and an important service to the CNY community helping thousands. Carole personally and professionally inspired many within this service space. Carole’s family could not be prouder not only of her personal attributes but also of her professional achievements where she gave back so much to the community and the various associations she belonged to. After forming Drudgery, Carole also became a court approved expert testifying on many evidentiary matters. Carole was loved by many, and her legacy will carry on forever.

A funeral service will be held for Carole on September 30th, at St. John's the Evangelist Catholic Church in New Hartford at 9:30 AM. Carole’s internment will then take place at Forest Hill Cemetery. Calling hours will be on September 29th from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Friedel, Williams & Edmunds Funeral Services, 13 Oxford Rd., New Hartford.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of Carole’s favorite associations, the Humane Society.

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