Barbara J. (Murdock) Hand 01/16/2023

Barbara Janet (Murdock) Hand


Barbara Janet (Murdock) Hand, passed away on Monday, January 16th, 2023 at Lewis County General Hospital after a long illness.

A private family burial will be at the Hermon Cemetery, Hermon, New York.  On June 7th, 2023, from 2 -5 PM, there will a “Celebration of Life” at Serendipity, 9 Williams Street, Gouverneur, New York.

Barbara was born on Friday, August 13th, 1937 at home in Hammond, NY.   She was the daughter of Joseph Hillard and Barbara Beatrice (Brotherston) Murdock.  She jokingly would say “Friday the 13th was the luckiest day of my life!”

She was predeceased by her son; Robert Hand, brothers; Robert, Stewart, Lyle, William and Ernest Murdock, sisters; Ruby (Murdock) Sterling and Roberta Murdock her infant sister; and her parents.

She attended a “One Room” Schoolhouse in the countryside of DePeyster, New York and later attended Heuvelton Central High School.  She married Donald Hand on June 14th, 1957 at the Heuvelton Methodist Church.

During her career, she was a Dairy Farmer, Waitress at the Grandview Restaurant in Ogdensburg, New York, a Baker at St. Lawrence University and Co-Owner of a Trucking Business.  After retirement, she went back to work at Martin’s Pretzels as a Dough and Pretzel Maker.  She often talked proudly about making and packing a pretzel order for Bill Clinton, the President of United States.  Another proud moment was when she bought her first brand, new car which was a 1977 Monte Carlo by herself.  She always mentioned how much she loved the swivel seats and great heater in the winter.

Barb not only loved family, but also had a big heart that loved others as well.  She was mindful of the needs of others.  Often, she helped many elderly in the community with groceries shopping, cleaning and yard work not expecting or accepting any renumeration.  She also moved in with and cared for her terminally ill mother-in-law until her death.  Another love was cooking and gardening.  Her “green thumb” grew beautiful flowers, plants, her precious weeping willow tree outside her kitchen window and vegetable gardens.   Baking was her gift as well.  Her homemade bread, donuts and cinnamon rolls were a sought after commodity.  She shared that they were all Scottish recipes passed down to her.

Barb was a “First Generation American”, yet was proud of her Canadian, Irish and Scottish Heritage.  She was a descendant of two great Scottish Clans which are Clan Stewart and Clan Moffat.  Her ancestor, Adam Moffat fought in the First War of Scottish Independence with King Robert the Bruce and survived.  Out-numbered almost 2:1 with the odd stacked against them, they won The Battle of Bannockburn against English forces.  This is a landmark battle in Scottish History.

This heritage showed in Barb with her character, perseverance, bravery and loyalty to family, friends and loved ones.  She was positive, fearless and strong both mentally and physically.  She also was a dreamer and self-taught Artist.  She sketched people, animals and nature while always encouraging her children to be creative, draw and respect nature.

She leaves us passing down all of her beautiful qualities to her children and grandchildren.  Her message to us all was to “follow your dreams no matter what others think or say”.    She will be dearly missed, but her dreaming, art, love of nature, storytelling and love of music live through all she touched while she was here with us.

Barb is survived by her husband of 65 years, Donald Hand, Philadelphia, New York; sister, Luella (Murdock) Robinson, Morristown, New York; sister-in laws; Carol Berkey, Peck, Idaho- Jean Hand, Reno, Nevada-Beatrice Murdock, Rensselaer Falls, New York; daughter, Julie (Hand) Brooks, Syracuse, New York; daughter and son-in law, Donna (Hand) and Ron Wiley, LaFargeville, New York; granddaughter, Olivia Brooks, Syracuse, New York; grandsons, Ryan Brooks, Los Angeles, California-Logan Hand, Antwerp, New York and Anthony (Holly) Wiley, Cleveland, North Carolina; great granddaughter Eleanor Wiley; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, Donations can be made to your local S.P.C.A or Animal Shelter as well as Renewal House, Canton, NY in remembrance of Janet Stewart Brotherston (Barbara’s Grandmother).


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