Shirley's Story

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Shirley Love Murphy of Stillwater died peacefully in her home on October 31, 2017. Known as Peggy to family and friends, she was born the second of twin girls in Purcell, OK on November 15, 1924. She and her beloved twin sister, Pauline Love Johnson, were the closest of sisters and inseparable until Paulines death in 1987.
Peggy graduated from Purcell High School in 1942, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She took a break from academics to join the war effort, taking a position as a secretary at the Norman Naval Air Station. It was there that she met her husband, Robert M. Murphy of Stillwater, who had returned from the Pacific Theatre following the end of the war to complete his active duty military service. They married on April 19, 1947 in Purcell.
They settled in Stillwater and raised four children together. Peggy returned to school alongside her college-aged children and completed both a bachelors and masters degree in political science from Oklahoma State University. She worked at the university as a graduate assistant and wrote her masters thesis on the strategic importance of the island of Diego Garcia, which she summarized for then-presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, when she had the fortune of meeting him at a campaign rally. Peggy supported her husbands political career and law practice in several capacities and was his most trusted advisor and confidante.
Peggy was a member and an ordained elder at First Presbyterian Church and active in Presbyterian Women. She was a member of the League of Women Voters, Junior Service League, and PEO. A citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, she was fiercely devoted to native causes and very proud of her heritage and status as a Chickasaw Elder.
A beloved mother, grandmother, aunt, and cousin, she leaves behind a legacy of love, strength, and compassion that will stay with her family through their sorrow. Her love of music and dancing is alive and well in all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as her love of animals, which she spoiled considerably.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert M. Murphy; her siblings, Frank Criner Love, Sarah Love Mueller, and Pauline Love Johnson; grandchildren Colleen Rae Murphy and Patrick Edwards Murphy; and great-grandson Darius Love Murphy.
She is survived by her children, Robert M. Murphy Jr. and wife, Christine, of Spokane, WA; Terrence E. Murphy of Stillwater; Dr. Shirley Murphy Chesnut and husband, Charles Chesnut, of Miami, OK; and Helen- Mary Murphy Schiller and husband, Dr. Thomas Schiller of Fayetteville, AR; grandchildren Anna Murphy Startzell and husband, MAJ (USA) Thane of Omaha, NE; Susannah Shinn of Little Rock, AR; Garrett Murphy of Stillwater, OK; Matthew Chesnut and wife, Chesna of OKC, OK; Lucianne Murphy and fiancé, Kevin Hail of Austin, TX; Mark Chesnut and wife Kenna of Springfield, MO; 1LT (USA) Eric Murphy and wife Sarah of El Paso, TX; Michael Chesnut and fiancée, Carina Young of Honolulu, Hawaii; Alyce Murphy of Spokane, WA; Laura Chesnut of Fayetteville, AR; Melissa Schiller of Tel Aviv, Israel; Scott Schiller of Los Angeles, CA; Benjamin Schiller of Tulsa, OK; Jeremy Schiller of Dallas, TX; and Peter Schiller and fiancée, Lindsey Lowenthal of San Francisco, CA; great-grandchildren Rain Murphy of Stillwater, OK; Virginia, Ivy, and Annika Startzell of Omaha, NE; and Wade Chesnut of Springfield, MO. As well as numerous adored nieces and nephews.
A graveside burial will be held when her grandson 1LT Eric Murphy returns home in early 2018 following his overseas deployment.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Collen Rae Murphy Scholarship Fund at First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater, OK.
Published on November 2, 2017
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