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Dayhoff: Westminster mourns the loss of a trio of former council presidents, among others, in recent months

Sadly, the last three months have stood witness to the passing of three great former Westminster Common Council presidents who served our community with distinction and honor: Ken Hornberger, Ed Calwell and Bill Haifley.

The Westminster Mayor and Common Council portrait, 1987. From left: William F. Haifley, David S. Babylon, Ken Hornberger, Mayor LeRoy Conaway, Mark Snyder and Sam Greenholtz. Courtesy of the Westminster Mayor and Common Council and the Kevin Dayhoff and Caroline Babylon collection.
The Westminster Mayor and Common Council portrait, 1987. From left: William F. Haifley, David S. Babylon, Ken Hornberger, Mayor LeRoy Conaway, Mark Snyder and Sam Greenholtz. Courtesy of the Westminster Mayor and Common Council and the Kevin Dayhoff and Caroline Babylon collection. (Kevin Dayhoff/Courtesy Photo)

Hornberger served the Westminster community for many years. He died late Thursday evening, April 15, surrounded by friends. Hornberger served on the Westminster Common Council from 1983-1991 and was president of the Common Council from 1989-1991.

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He was predeceased by his wife Maryland State Senator Sharon W. Hornberger 1989-1991. She was a trailblazer who was sworn in Dec 18, 1989, to replace Sen. Raymond E. Beck who was appointed to Circuit Court.

Ken Hornberger served the Westminster community for many years. He died late Thursday evening, April 15, 2021. Hornberger served on the Westminster Common Council from 1983-1991 and was president of the Common Council from 1989-1991. Submitted photo.
Ken Hornberger served the Westminster community for many years. He died late Thursday evening, April 15, 2021. Hornberger served on the Westminster Common Council from 1983-1991 and was president of the Common Council from 1989-1991. Submitted photo. (Kevin Dayhoff/Courtesy Photo)

Hornberger was born on May 8, 1945, in Baltimore. He graduated in 1963 from Southern High School in Baltimore and attended the University of Baltimore. While a student there, Ken studied accounting, law, economics, and public speaking. He was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves from 1966-1972. Hornberger was a retired accountant.

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Like many accomplished elected officials in our community, Hornberger had extensive roots in the community. He was a member of the Boumi Temple and the Howard Blue Lodge as well as a member of the Westminster Lions Club and of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks – Westminster. He loved politics and was a member of the Republican Central Committee. He was an avid supporter of Carroll Hospice, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and McDaniel College Women’s Basketball.

Bill Haifley, 91, served as a Westminster councilmember from May 13, 1985, to 1993. He served as the council president from 1991 to 1993. He died Wednesday, March 24, 2021. He was born Aug. 22, 1929 in Frizzellburg.

Bill Haifley served as a Westminster councilmember from May 13, 1985, to 1993. He served as the council president from 1991 to 1993. He died Wednesday, March 24, 2021. He was born August 22, 1929 in Frizzellburg. Submitted photo.
Bill Haifley served as a Westminster councilmember from May 13, 1985, to 1993. He served as the council president from 1991 to 1993. He died Wednesday, March 24, 2021. He was born August 22, 1929 in Frizzellburg. Submitted photo. (Kevin Dayhoff/Courtesy Photo)

Haifley was very active in the community. According to his obituary, he worked as a supervisor for BGE. He was a graduate of Westminster High School. He served in the Army during the Korean War. He was a member of Church of the Open Door, the Westminster Lions Club, member of the American Legion Carroll Post No. 31, VFW Molleville Farm Post No. 467, Eagles No. 2266, and Carroll County Electrical Contractors Association.

Past Westminster Council President Ed Calwell passed away at his home in Westminster on Feb. 4, 2021. I paid tribute to Calwell earlier in the year. Of the current elected officials in Westminster, current Council President Greg Pecoraro served with Calwell from 1994 to 2001 and I served with Calwell from 1999 to 2001.

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Ed Calwell was first elected to the Westminster Common Council in May 1989. He served as a Westminster councilmember for three terms for a total of 12 years, until May 2001. He served as the Westminster Council president from December 1994 to May 1999. Submitted photo
Ed Calwell was first elected to the Westminster Common Council in May 1989. He served as a Westminster councilmember for three terms for a total of 12 years, until May 2001. He served as the Westminster Council president from December 1994 to May 1999. Submitted photo (Kevin Dayhoff/Courtesy Photo)

Calwell was first elected to the Westminster Common Council in May 1989. He served as a Westminster councilmember for three terms for a total of 12 years; until May 2001. He served as the Westminster Council president from December 1994 to May 1999. At that point Damian Halstad became the council president.

Calwell served on the Westminster Town Center Corporation, was chairman of the Westminster Public Utilities Commission, and served as president of the Westminster Area Recreation Council. He had previously been a member of the Westminster Board of Zoning Appeals, Parks Board, Carroll County Rape Crisis Center, and Historic District Committee.

Speaking of community leaders who have gone before us; the men and women of the Westminster Fire Department and the Carroll Post No. 31 of the American Legion, offer our heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Louis “Turtle” Brown, the father of my friend – our brother veteran and firefighter Blaine Brown.

Mr. Turtle died Sunday, April 18, 2021, at home in Westminster. He retired as the head chef for Western Maryland College in 1983 after 35 years of dedicated service. He received an award from Carroll County NAACP for the many years of service provided to the historic-Black Western Chapel Cemetery in New Windsor. Louis was a dedicated member at Union Street United Methodist Church, serving as a cook at church functions, door keeper at the church, and president of the usher board.

As a point of personal privilege, I must also sadly note the passing of my childhood friend and former landscaping colleague, Tommy Senseney, 62. He passed away on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

In the late 1960s and the early 1970s – and off and on through the 1990s I worked with Tommy and Chris Senseney at their dad’s landscaping company – Tom Senseney Landscaping.

It was with Tom Senseney Sr. that I had the privilege of meeting many of Carroll County’s prominent business owners, appointed and elected officials. In the 1960s and 1970s, I would join Mr. Senseney and much of Westminster’s and Carroll County’s leadership for breakfast at Baugher’s restaurant or at “B’s Coffee Shoppe,” where O’Lordans Irish Pub is now located in the “old stone building” on Liberty Street in Westminster. I continue to this day to be inspired by that generation’s sense of customer service, dedication to hard work, and an overwhelming selfless obligation to the community and the citizens we serve. The insights I gained and the lessons learned as a result of those experiences 50 years ago have served me well.

May memories of happy times sustain us, the support of the community comfort us, and may God’s love embrace our community and bring us peace.

Those we love don’t go away. They walk beside us every day, unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear. Amen.

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. His Time Flies column appears every Sunday. Email him at kevindayhoff@gmail.com.

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