About Ellene

Age: 95

Community: Moncks Corner

Occupation: Retired businesswoman.

People will remember: Her elegance.

Affiliations: Former board member, Berkeley Country Club.

Survivors include: Many nieces and nephews.

Some women take pride in applying their makeup in under three minutes.

Ellene Murphy was not one of them, says her niece, Eunice Thomas.

The former owner of Bonnie and Ellene's clothing store in Moncks Corner, Murphy would never considered doing such a thing.

It was not the thing to do.

She took pride in her appearance and routinely refined her makeup application until it was perfect, says Thomas.

“I remember her sitting at the dressing table. It took her forever to get ready. I tell you she was from the old school.”

Murphy, who was born Sept. 3, 1917, died June 8. She shared a desire always to be perfectly turned out with her sisters, Bonnie and Lorraine. They worked together at the clothing store.

“They could not go anywhere until they had everything to match,” Thomas says.

Murphy held steadfast onto her old-fashioned attitude about dressing throughout her 95 years, says Thomas.

“She was a redhead and wore a lot of orange and gold and beiges, what a red head would wear,” Thomas says.

“I always liked her earrings. When we went through her jewelry box, she had 75 pairs of earrings,” Thomas says.

She also had more than a couple of dozen pairs of shoes and lots of clothes.

Thomas recalls the days when she and her cousins would stay with Murphy, who lived in Charleston, when they were going to attend a dance at the YWCA.

Those visits were often marked by the incessant giggling by three or four girls in their early teens. But her aunt never once complained.

Before leaving for a dance, they would check their appearances in Murphy's mirror.

“When we were looking in her mirror, we thought we were beautiful,” Thomas says. “We thought we were top notch.

“Our parents taught us manners, but she taught us elegance.”

In her early 40s, Murphy traveled to Suriname, South America, with her late husband, Owen R. Murphy of Murphy's Marine Railways, Thomas says. The couple was in Suriname from 1960 to 1965.

While there, she managed the office of a shrimping business.

In Murphy's leisure time, she golfed, Thomas says. She won a ladies' golf champion for Paramaribo, Suriname.

Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.