Columbus Dispatch Features Bob and Peg Murphy ('42 & '43)
July 5, 2010
July 5, 2010, Greencastle, Ind. — "It's like a real-life version of The Notebook," says Janell Whiteside, who works at Summit's Trace healthcare center in Columbus, Ohio, where Bob and Peggy Murphy reside. An article in the Columbus Dispatch tells of how Bob Murphy, a 1942 graduate of DePauw University, is coping with his wife's struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Peg (Horr) Murphy is a 1943 DePauw graduate. (photo: Bob Murphy plays piano as his wife, behind him, listens)
"The whole of their life together is still so easy for him to recall," writes Rita Price. "Before it's lost, and because it's lost to Peg, Bob thought he would record it. At age 90, he taught himself to post to the Internet. He now writes a still-unfolding account of their wartime romance, marriage and present-day life at an East Side assisted-living center, where Peg, 88, stays in a locked ward for Alzheimer's patients and Bob keeps house in a small room down the hall."
"She has no idea that I'm her husband of 66 years," Bob Murphy tells the newspaper. "But if you ask if she knows me, knows that I am the one who comes every day, then my answer is, 'Yes.'"
The touching feature story notes, "Bob said he noticed her first. They were in a chemistry lab at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., and there she was, not more than 50 feet away. He was shy and she was beautiful. The combination left him speechless. A friend pushed Bob to get to know Peg. She agreed to one date, and more followed. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor three months later. Bob graduated the next year, and by February 1943 he had been commissioned in the Naval Reserve, with orders to report to San Diego."
Price points out the parallels to the Murphys' story and The Notebook, a book written by Nicholas Sparks which later became a movie. In it, "a husband recalls World War II and the 49-year union that is ending with his wife's descent into Alzheimer's."Back