Birthday bash begins in style
By Robin Scott
The 97th birthday bash for Clara Murphy began with a limousine ride from her home on Kiowa to Bar-H Restaurant, where friends and family were waiting to surprise her and celebrate her birthday with her.
Simmons Limousine pulled up to the corner of Apache and Kiowa Saturday evening, June 20th at approximately 6:30 p.m. The entire event was planned from beginning to end, including Susan Clay waiting for the limo to arrive to snap a few photos of the surprise.
Sheryl Hall with Dalhart Federal Savings & Loan asked her co-workers about renting the limo for Clara’s trip to Bar-H. When they approached Brian Simmons, owner of Simmons Limousine Service, he said he wanted to donate the use of the limo for the event. Part-time limo driver, John Plunk, drove that evening. Plunk and his wife Linda are long time friends and neighbors of Clara. Linda rode to Bar-H in the limo with Clara, along with Clara’s daughter Marilyn and granddaughter Mary. Marilyn and Mary assisted in pulling off the surprise for Clara. Dalhart Federal picked up the dinner tab. All in all, the evening was very festive and a great surprise for Clara.
Clara was honored as the 2004 Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year at a banquet held in March, 2005. She and her late husband, B.H. Murphy, moved to Dalhart in 1951. B.H. worked for the Texas Highway Department Engineers and Clara worked for the Texas Department of Public Service and administered a welfare program for five counties in Texas. She retired in 1978. B. H. passed away in 1986. Clara has two children, Michael Murphy and Marilyn Murphy Hall. Michael and his wife, Doreen, have one son, Brendon. Marilyn and her husband, Ward, have two daughters, Leslie and Mary. Clara also raised her nephew, Fred Crosby, from the time he was 10-years-old. Her benevolent heart also benefited Dalhart as she has been a member of the Pink Ladies for more than 20 years.
Over the weekend Clara held an estate sale at her residence on Kiowa. She is moving to Dallas to be near family. Plunk commented, “We are really going to miss her but understand her wanting to be near her family.”