By the family
Oct. 18, 2023: Ann Patricia Murray, who went by Patsy, died October 10th at her home in Bronxville.
Patsy Shally was born in the Bronx to Irish immigrants, James Shally and Catherine Quinn Shally of counties Galway and Mayo, respectively. Like many immigrants during the depression, the family of eight was poor, living in a railroad-flat tenement on East 65th Street. Patsy’s father worked as a day laborer throughout the city, and her mother worked as a hotel maid. Patsy attended school at St. Vincent Ferrer and Cathedral High School.
Patsy Shally won international fame as a fashion model. At the age of 13, she was approached by a small modeling agency to pose for trial shots. Her first work was for Sears Catalog. Soon, she was discovered by Eileen Ford and became one of the Ford Agency’s top models.
Patsy Shally traveled all over the world and appeared on the covers of Vogue, McCall’s, Seventeen, Look, Glamour, Mademoiselle, and many other magazines. She was photographed by such luminaries as Irving Penn and Diane and Allen Arbus. For over a decade, Patsy’s image could be seen on billboards, in catalogs, as well as in countless advertisements.
Patsy’s career success allowed her to provide welcome support to her family. She funded several of her siblings’ educations and relocated her mother from the railroad flat to an apartment in Jackson Heights, Queens.
In 1960 she married Francis B. Murray, the grandson of the famed electrical inventor, Thomas E. Murray. Patsy retired from modeling and devoted her life to her family. Work and life relocated Frank, Patsy and their two daughters to a variety of places including Los Angeles, Manhattan, Long Island, Cincinnati, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and, finally, Bronxville, New York. In the 1980s, Patsy earned her GED degree, a lifetime goal, as she had dropped out of high school to pursue modeling.
Patsy was ferociously proud of her Irish heritage and delighted to obtain her Irish citizenship and passport in the early 2000s.
Patsy is survived by her daughters Catherine M. Bird (Michael), Anna P. Murray, two grandchildren, Edelawit Bird and Patrick Bird, and dozens of nieces and nephews.