Deb Murphy always enjoyed the outdoors and gardening. So when the Tomah woman lost her courageous battle with cancer nearly two years ago, her husband Jim wanted to remember Deb with a special memorial.
“I was given money from Deb’s funeral and it was for three things,” Jim explained. “It was for a donation to the American Cancer Society, a donation to St. Mary’s (Queen of the Apostles) School in Tomah, and a memorial. I had no idea what to do with the memorial, but thought we could do something that would generally help people without being ostentatious,” Murphy said.
After some discussions with Tomah Health chief executive officer Phil Stuart, plans were made for the memorial to include a pergola, a bench and brick pavers to be installed along the walking path on the west end of the Tomah Health campus.
“I think this is beautiful. This is great,” Murphy said of the memorial constructed by hospital facility services staff. “She’s going to love this place,” Murphy said. “She’s going to love the wildflowers and looking at the pines which we also have around our house. She liked to sit, rest and reflect. She’ll like it.”
Murphy said he hopes people who walk the hospital trail will also enjoy the area. “I hope they do the same… sit, rest, reflect, and maybe a prayer. It’s beautiful.”
Stuart said the organization was happy to work with Jim on the memorial. “We were approached by Jim last fall saying they had some donations in Deb’s memory,” Stuart said. “The nice piece about this with our walking trail is that it gives another spot for people to sit down, relax and reflect in a quiet environment.”
Stuart said some landscaping will be added to the area including two trees - a Red Sunset Maple and Deborah Maple purchased from funds donated by a Tomah card club that the Murphy’s belonged to and Jim’s sport shooting club.
“It’s a nice memory and we greatly appreciate his donation to the project,” Stuart added.
*(Special thanks to members of our Tomah Health Facility Services Department for all their work on this project!)