The Passing of a Great Man


This world lost a great man a week ago, although you wouldn’t have known about him unless you’ve read the couple of posts on this blog where I mentioned him.

His name was Winfred Murphy, or ‘Pinky’ as he’s been known since he was a teen. Uncle Pinky and and his wife of 69 years, my Aunt Peg, are my heroes.

Pinky Murphy was a good man in all the ways one might define a good man. He loved his family, he worked hard, he loved sports – he loved life.



Pinky enjoyed several sports and was always very active. He was a championship pitcher for several fast-pitch softball teams while in the Marine Corps. He first started playing golf in high school and loved the game. In the last couple of years he slowed down a bit. Still, up to his 95th birthday last August, he had been playing golf twice a week.

It was while Pinky was serving in the US Marine Corps during WWII that he went to a dance at the Hollywood Palladium where he met Peggy Quigley. She happened to be engaged at the time, but that didn’t stop the two of them from dancing together most of the night. Three months later they were married.

I don’t know what happened to the man Peggy was engaged to before she met Pink, nevertheless it was obvious that these two were made for each other.


Sadly Pinky lost his bride of 69 years. Peggy passed away last May. She was 91. He seemed at first to handle her passing with a strength we all were surprised he had. Their marriage was a living definition of the word ‘couple.’

But giving credit to my Aunt Peg, she was an amazing woman. Maybe the best thing my Uncle Pinky ever did was to realize what an extraordinary woman she was, and snatch her away from her fiance. My blog post from last May about how special Aunt Peg was can be found here.

Now, on the surface, many might say that Pinky Murphy never accomplished anything that could actually be called ‘great.’

What made him different? What made him great?

To put it simply – He went to work every day, raised a family of five kids, and was devoted to one woman all his life. He loved his wife wholly and completely. And she adored him. They truly were a living representation of the scripture about marriage, ‘the two shall become one.’

There aren’t that many of his kind left anymore.

Pinky and Peggy were a rare example of what an ideal marriage could be and I was privileged to observe it all my life. My parents divorced when I was very young and I didn’t see much of my father. My mom, Aunt Peg’s younger sister, died when I was 19. Aunt Peg and Uncle Pinky were like a second set of parents to me.

As I finish this post my eyes are watering. I loved them, and because of their love for me, and their example, I’m a better man.

They were are my heroes.





About VocareMentor

Walk with the wise and become wise - Prov. 13:20 A lot of my blog comes out of the way I grew up. My parents divorced when I was 6 years old and I didn’t see much of my father. I had no understanding of how the lack of his presence in my life affected every choice I made as I grew up. Much of my adult life has been attempting to sort things out and catch up. Thus, what you’ll find on my blog are musings, thoughts, wisdom and ideas from history and pop culture. Themes: mentors, father/son, male/female, self-discovery, courage, stepping up, friendship and more.
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20 Responses to The Passing of a Great Man

  1. joanfrankham says:

    They sound wonderful and I am sorry for your loss.

  2. You were certainly blessed to have these exemplary folks in your life. I am sorry for your loss and applaud you for the lessons you learned from them.

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. They sound like those ordinary, wonderful heroes that teach us so much, that give us hope, that let us know the world is a good place with good people in it.

  4. Joanne says:

    Am so sorry for your loss – what incredible people to have close to you to help guide and influence you throughout your life.💞

  5. Teal Dragon says:

    Very sorry for your loss. You will carry them with you always. Your words spoke eloquently of both of them. They would probably be pleased as punch that you held them in such high regard!

  6. Prior-01 says:

    Oh wow – pinky lived his life wholly and fully and I live the point about how he might not have certain measurable achievements that some mark success with – instead – he had this full life and then a nephew like you is one more fruit
    – sending u a hug for condolences my blog friend!

  7. It sounds to me like your Uncle Pinky and your Aunt Peggy were great people in all the ways that really count. 🙂

  8. jesh stg says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog Even though you write about much different subjects! Great to know people who are actually examples of what life is supposed to be:)

  9. rgayer55 says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your aunt and uncle, and how blessed you were to have such great role models in your life. My parents were married 71 years before Dad passed. Mom lived another 5. They set great examples of honesty, integrity, and love for each other for the rest of us to follow.

    Now, my eyes are getting damp. Thanks for sharing this story. Peace be with you.

  10. ceayr says:

    Wonderful piece, love it.

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