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.
were are my heroes.