Maryville community celebrates 105-year-old’s birthday


MARYVILLE, TENN. (WATE)- Lois Brown Murphy a Maryville native who friends describe as “sharp as a tack” turned 105-years-old on May 23, 2020. A major milestone in her life that friends and family made extra special.

Murphy was born in Maryville in 1915. She attended Ft. Craig Elementary School, graduated from Maryville high school and from Maryville College. She taught second grade at Porter Elementary School. Her and her late husband were married in the New Providence Presbyterian Church where she is an active member.

Murphy is revered in the community and it was only fitting to have community and church members involved in celebrating Brown’s special birthday.

Phyllis Warner a dear friend of Murphy’s helped organize the event. Every year, Murphy’s circle of friends get together to celebrate with cake and good spirits. This year they wanted to do something extra special, but due to coronavirus concerns they had celebrate from a safe distance.

They set Murphy up in a chair in the front yard, surrounded by balloons and family. On a bright, sunny afternoon cars lined up on the street of her neighborhood, honking and cheering to honor Murphy.

Among the cheers, noise makers and smiles–Murphy could feel the love; even from 6-feet away, “I’ve never had this much emotion on my birthday.”

It quickly became clear how popular the 105-year-old was. Twice as many people showed up than Lisa Rotton, Lois’ only grand-daughter, had expected. Her grandmother was gifted with certificate from her beloved church, flowers, a cake, two renditions of “Happy Birthday” along with a gift that truly keeps on giving–her own day.

Mayor Tom Taylor proclaimed May 23, 2020 “Lois Brown Murphy Day” in the city of Maryville.

“I thank the Lord everyday for friends,” Lois said, especially grateful on this day for her circle.

“Our friendship has been so good that she even recognizes my voice when I’m walking down the hall longways behind her,” Warren chuckles as she gushes about Murphy, “I just appreciate her positiveness, her friendliness and her wonderful outlook she truly is God’s child.”

Rotton highlighting her grandmother’s genuine character, “She is the most kind-hearted spirit.”

Recognizing how much the community means to Murphy, and how much she means to them, “It’s no surprise to me that so many came out to wish her happy birthday, I know it’s very meaningful to her.”

Lois Brown Murphy says this is a day she will never forget.

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