HURON — Family and friends have come from Colorado and Washington to celebrate Irene Murphy’s 106th birthday, which is this Monday. Hazel Murphy, Irene’s sister-in-law, will turn 103 on Oct. 28.
Everyone gathered in the board room of the Violet Tschetter Memorial Home on Saturday for a meal, to reminisce of good times, and, of course, share delicious birthday cake.
Irene was born on Aug. 14, 1911, one year before the Titanic sank, 19 years before women had the right to vote, and she has lived through two World Wars.
“This is a different generation from what she grew up in,” said Irene’s daughter, Kathy Mead. “When she was little, she said she used to take peach skin and use it for lipstick. She lived making mud pies.”
“They used to get their mail by horseback,” Irene’s son, Pat Murphy said.
Irene was born and grew up in Lesterville. She moved to Rapid City to finish high school and college before moving to Huron to work for the Bureau of Reclamation. Irene then met her husband, Mike Murphy, who was co-owner of Hedbloom’s Clothing Store in Huron.
“When mom and dad met they were dancing at a nightclub and mom got her heel stuck in the cuff of another man dancing, it knocked her down and she broke her arm,” Pat said. “She’s still dancing 80 years later. This year she was queen of Holy Trinity’s St. Paddy’s Day.”
Hazel Murphy was born in Carthage and worked for Huron Manufacturing. Hazel and Irene have lived next door to each other since 1963, “and they are still neighbors today at the Violet Tschetter Home,” said Pat.
Irene has been known to say “lots of prayer, and a little nip now and again,” was her secret to life.
“We would go to mass and then have a cocktail together,” Pat and Kathy said.