Mary Louise Murphy, 96, of Durham, passed away May 8, 2018, with her family by her side.
She was born to the late Louis Henry Whitaker and Georgia Frances Workman Whitaker, April 4, 1922, in Salem, Arkansas. She was a proud member of of the Viola, Arkansas, High School Basketball Team. During WWII Mary was Private First Class in the Army Air Force WAC division. She was stationed at Will Rogers Air Field in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and served in New Guinea and the Philippines. She was a consummate hostess, homemaker, and mother. She was a prized orchid grower in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and grew the best tomatoes in all of Wilmington, NC. Mary’s vitality and honesty left her adored by all who met her.
She is survived by her her son, Michael Clay Thompson (wife Dr. Myriam Borges Thompson), her daughter, Teresa Ann Bayer; six grandchildren: Captain Tim Thompson (wife Susana Thompson), Eva Angelena Baldwin (husband Carl Baldwin), Jennifer Borrell Bayer, Anna Elizabeth Strachan (husband Dr. James Young), Captain Michael Robert Strachan (wife Tam Strachan), and David Matthew Strachan (wife Celese Strachan); nine great-grandchildren: Timothy Thompson, Nicholas Thompson, Lauren Thompson, Carly Baldwin, Sylvia Anderson, Catherine Baldwin, Luke Strachan, Marianna Young, and Luna Strachan; one sister, Joann Pittaluga; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her three husbands: Walter Roy Newcomb, Harry Clay Thompson, and Albert R. Murphy, her brother William Lyon Whitaker, her sister Mescal Borrell Lyons and her parents.
The family held a private memorial for Mary on Saturday. Memorial donations may be made in her honor to the Disabled American Veterans or the Durham Rescue Mission.
The Murphy family is under the care of Walker's Funeral Home of Chapel Hill.