Elizabeth and James Murphy joined the Plymouth Harbor community in March, 2013.

By Isabel Pedersen

A college graduation does not seem an obvious place for a middle-aged man to meet the love of his life but that is what happened when Jim Murphy first saw “Elizabeth.”  Her son and his daughter were graduating from Miami University in Ohio.  The night before graduation, all families celebrated and exchanged introductions.  The lasting one was the relationship that began that night.

The odds of their meeting any other way seem slim.  Lee grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota.  After graduating from Centenary College in New Jersey, she returned to St. Paul where she raised three sons, became a Junior League member, but was busiest as the owner and buyer of a specialty store.  For 15 years, she traveled on buying trips to England, Ireland, Iceland, and in America.

Meanwhile, Jim grew up in Darien, Connecticut.  His father’s printing business near Philadelphia was sold when his father died quite young.  Jim stayed in the area to attend West Chester University, graduating in 1951.  While attending the University of Pennsylvania, he taught Journalism while going to night school. 

After graduation, Jim was selected into the Naval V-5 program which sent him to Georgia Tech.  His life work has been the interconnected world of mortgage banking, real estate development, and construction.  From laborer to president, Jim enjoyed and profited from exposure on local, state, and national levels while living in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.  His lifelong commitment to charitable causes has involved working with the poor, which he continues to do to this day.

When Lee arrived in Florida, her northern roots and family ties to a nature center and an arboretum brought a new sense of appreciation for Mother Nature.  She spent 16 years in Founders Garden Club.  It was fitting that the Murphys were married at Spanish Point in Osprey.  They resided at The Oaks where Jim continued his custom home building business.After 20 years, the Murphys moved to Kenaya in the Burns Court District before coming to Plymouth Harbor. 

Together these two have 13 grandchildren.  It is not surprising that they have been mentoring young people in Sarasota County schools for years in the Take Stock in Children program. Please welcome this interesting couple to Plymouth Harbor.