The late Tom McEwen, sports editor of The Tampa Times from 1958-62 before being named sports editor of The Tampa Tribune in 1962, graced the Tribune sports section with his award-winning column, The Morning After, and his Breakfast Bonus notes columns were a signature offering from the 19-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year. McEwen died in June, 2011 at the age of 88. His wife, Linda, occasionally contributes past columns and exerpts to this blog.
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Farewell, Polly, till we meet again
Posted May 7, 2012 by TBO.com
Updated May 8, 2012 at 11:53 PM
By LINDA McEWEN
These are the times, I really miss Tom. One of our best friends has died and she needs to be recognized for the enormous impact she had on the Parish and School of St. Lawrence and for the help and care she gave to our very dear friend, Monsignor Lawrence Higgins. Polly Murray gave a lifetime of devotion, fifty years, to the operation of and growth to St. Lawrence Catholic Church.
Widowed by her husband, John Murray, Polly was the head of the Murray household with six sons and moved to Tampa to work as Lay Administrator of St. Lawrence Parish and School in 1960. Tom and I came in constant contact with her during these years and admired the devotion and intelligence she brought to her job.
Tom would have wanted her to be remembered as a true friend and a completely selfless woman who put all others first and never complained about her problems up to her death. Her answer to how are you was always “Great” but we knew that she suffered from unrelenting pain in the last few years of her life.
Today, the members of St. Lawrence Catholic Church and the visitors bade a farewell to their Polly Murray, pretty Polly we are inclined to say, meaning outward and inward. It was a sad time, no talk of she is in a better place, because she was so wanted and needed here, to her family of six boys, now men, her Pastor, Monsignor Lawrence Higgins, by her job as Administrator of St. Lawrence Parish and School, which also included construction of the School.
How can she not be missed? She leaves behind a legacy of devotion to her God and a reverence for her church and family. Her favorite charity was the Judeo-Christian Health Clinic and her favorite doctor was also her friend, Sylvia Campbell, M. D., who is herself an acclaimed missionary doctor. Sitting also in the audience near me was Dottie Berger MacKinnon, who is not well, but continues, like Polly, to work in projects to help her needy children at the Joshua House.
William Wordsworth, noted English poet, says it best and I take a little liberty:
“Thus Nature spake-The work was done, How soon our Polly’s race was run!
She died and left to us
This heath, this calm, and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.”
Polly was not a famous athlete, nor did she run in the races, but she would be called a champion by Tom and to all who knew her and in her humble and self effacing
way, she cared for all who were around her and we all know how much she will be missed.