Virginia Ellington Link Murray died peacefully and surrounded by family at Newfield House in Plymouth on Nov. 11. She was 99.

She previously resided in Wellesley for 72 years, and on Chappaquiddick in the summers since 1958. She, her husband and combinations of family members first rented from Vance Packard on Chappaquiddick, overlooking Katama Bay, then purchased property adjacent to Pimpneymouse Farm on Chappaquiddick in 1970 and built a house there in 1982. They acquired property and a small dwelling at Cape Pogue in 1972. Chappaquiddick has served as a family focal point for generations ever since.

She was born Jan. 28, 1924 in Binghamton, N.Y., the only child of Virginia Ellington Link and George Theron Link. Her passion for singing was evident as a child. With her Link surname, she was nicknamed after the songbird “little bobolink,” which quickly was shortened to Bobby.

In 1942, Bobby graduated from Mt. Vernon Seminary, a women’s private preparatory school in Washington, D.C. 

Bobby was a gifted musician whose beautiful soprano voice, accomplished piano playing and creative composing skills enriched the lives of many. After graduation, she moved to Boston and studied singing, opera and piano privately at the New England Conservatory of Music. After World War II she studied at the conservatory and the Longy School of Music. She recorded classical solo music by and with Nicolas Slonimsky.

Her musical training took a hiatus after she married plastic and reconstructive surgeon Joseph E. Murray, MD in 1945. The young couple lived in Valley Forge, Pa. during Dr. Murray’s service with the U.S. Army Medical Corps. Bobby volunteered at the hospital, singing for severely-wounded soldiers. After Dr. Murray’s discharge in November 1947, they each resumed their professional training in Boston. They were married for 67 years; Dr. Murray died in 2012.

In 1990, Dr. Murray received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his pioneering work in organ and tissue transplantation. He had performed the world’s first successful organ/kidney transplant in Boston in 1954. Dr Murray also developed craniofacial and plastic surgery at the Brigham and Children’s hospitals in Boston. Bobby graciously supported her husband’s activities at Harvard Medical School, hosting many young doctors and visiting scientists at their Wellesley home.

Bobby warmly connected with people and animals, and had a lively interest in other cultures, languages and histories. An avid reader, she communicated in five languages. She traveled extensively with family and friends to North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. She rode a yak in the highlands of Nepal.

She enjoyed swimming, tennis, boating, hiking and family camping. She first won her husband’s love with her famous chocolate pie; over the years she baked more than 300 personally-decorated birthday cakes, often accompanied by her original poems.

Bobby is survived by her children, Virginia (Ginny) Murray of Plymouth, Meg Murray Dupont and her husband Don of Lafayette, Calif., Joe Link Murray and his wife Karin of Scituate, Kathy Murray-Leisure of Plymouth, Thomas Murray and his wife Melissa of Dallas, Tex. and Richard Murray and his wife Sara of Scituate; 18 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.

Her funeral and reception will be held at St. Andrew’s Church in Wellesley on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. Remote live viewing will be available at She will be interred at New Westside Cemetery in Edgartown next year.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Newfield Staff Appreciation Fund, Newfield House, 19 Newfield Road, Plymouth, MA 02360; the Office of Advancement and Engagement/Opera and Voice, New England Conservatory, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115; or to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 79 Denton Road, Wellesley, MA 02482.