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It's never too late for love


After parallel lives, couple exchanges wedding vows on Valentines Day

by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Creekside Village residents Mary Evans and Don Murphy share a kiss after their small wedding ceremony on Thursday. The two dated for about a year.When Mary Evans first noticed Don Murphy about a year ago at Creekside Village Retirement Community, sparks as they say, didn’t exactly fly.

“I was kind of sitting in the dark, in the lobby here, and he came in with a sweatsuit and a cap,” Evans recalled on Tuesday. “I thought, ‘Well, there’s a nice-looking man with a nice, white mustache.’ Then I said to myself, ‘Mary, you’re not looking — and you don’t like mustaches.’ So I let it go at that.”

Or so she thought.

As it turned out, Evans’ stoic resolve was no match for Murphy’s slow-burn persistence. Gradually she noticed Murphy noticing her, and the two Creekside residents started talking.

“I appreciate that he could be attracted to a woman who had a brain, and I liked that he had a brain and I could talk to him,” said Evans, who moved to Creekside from North Plains in 2010.

At a Creekside-sponsored picnic, Murphy, then 80, officially asked Evans, 79, to go with him on a train trip to the Oregon coast.

“I was shaky. I was frightened,” she admitted. “I realized I was quite interested in this man. It seemed like every event I went to, he was there — either before me or shortly after.”

On Valentine’s Day last week, the couple made it official by tying the knot in a small but festive ceremony in the lobby of Creekside, 5450 S.W. Erickson Ave. With children on hand from Murphy’s two previous marriages and Evans’ marriage from 20 years ago, a fine time was had by all.

“We had some residents there. They were all excited,” said Julie Miller, Creekside’s marketing director. “It was a really positive thing. We’re kind of a homey community anyway. It’s like a big family.”by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Mary Evans' pooch 'Boss' was part of the wedding ceremony at Creekside Village in Beaverton.

Third-time charm

Murphy, a two-time widower and retired IBM associate from Santa Clara, Calif., admitted his third marriage sprang from reasons practical as well as loving.

“She lived at one end of the building, and I lived at another,” he said. “And I was not a rogue. I never was. So the only way to settle this is to get married. And it was wonderful, and it will continue to be so.”

That may be, but Murphy — who turned 81 on Feb. 12 — said his proposal to Evans wasn’t quite one for the ages.

“I said something like, ‘We really should live together. We should get married,’” he recalled. “She was not too keen on that. She didn’t like men, but I changed that right away. We fussed around with the thought of that for four or five months.”

Evans is a little more succinct. “I said, ‘Let’s get it over with. Let’s get it done.’”

Not that the spooky parallels in their lives doesn’t make her wistful.

Among the couple’s recent discoveries was that they both attended the San Francisco World’s Fair in 1939 and several years later lived obliviously near each other in the same California town.

“I went on a ferry boat,” Evans recalled of the fair, when she was living in San Francisco’s Russian Hill district. “And somebody else was on that ferry boat too. We probably walked past each other somewhere in there.

“Later, in the ‘50s, we lived in Mountain View, Calif.,” she added. “He worked with IBM, and I was with Fairchild Semiconductor. We were about four miles apart. Then he ends up here, and so was I.”by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Mary Evans tears up during her wedding ceremony with Don Murphy at Creekside Village in Beaverton.

Less than a week into their new life together, Evans and Murphy do seem like they’ve been together forever. Teasing and sharing conversations on everything from family to their philosophies of aging, the couple share an infectiously dry sense of humor.

“The next hurdle I had was to have her kids — her daughters, granddaughters — understand what’s going on,” Murphy said of the marriage. “They all think it’s great, but of course, why would they tell me anything different?”

Recounting a bad experience with her abusive first husband, Evans is grateful the one she was looking for all these years finally found her.

“I read him as genuine. He was a gentleman who was funny and intelligent, and I could talk to him,” she said. “It’s something I would love to have had younger, but I’m glad he came along.

“I saved the best for last.You’ve got to really like that.”by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Newly married Don and Mary Murphy stand before friends and family.