Michael G. Memphis is shown with his wife of 32 years Karen Memphis.
Michael G. Memphis is shown with his wife of 32 years Karen Memphis. (Submitted photo)

Michael G. Memphis, former circulation director for the Carroll County Times and an active volunteer in the Carroll County community, died Friday, April 24, of cancer. He was 61.

"He was very well known, very well thought of and well liked in the community," said Audrey Cimino, executive director of the Community Foundation of Carroll County. "He was very quick to help anyone in the community, and people appreciated that about him."


Mrs. Cimino worked with Mr. Memphis on the Literacy Council of Carroll County, an organization he served as a volunteer and as a past president that provides tutoring to county residents who need help in a variety of areas. He began organizing the organization's annual Spelling Bee 13 years ago.

"He was a wonderful man," Mrs. Cimino said. "He was very smart, loyal and just a great guy."

Mr. Memphis was born in 1953 in Baltimore City to parents Lou Memphis and Hilda Phillips Memphis. Before retiring from the Times in August, he served as circulation director, earning the national award of Circulation Sales Executive of the Year in 2006. He was also state circulation manager for The Baltimore Sun.

"In addition to being a great guy, a devoted family man and a huge sports fan, Mike was a tireless worker who did everything he could to make sure customers of the Carroll County Times received their newspapers every morning, on time and in perfect condition," Bob Blubaugh, former sports editor of the Times, wrote in an email.

Those who knew him said he had a strong work ethic, which often meant putting in extra hours to ensure his customers received their newspapers.

"It was never a surprise to see Mike in the building at any time of day, 3 in the morning as the papers were coming off the docks, 8 in the morning running papers out to customers, 7 in the evening after a long day in the office, any time at all," Mr. Blubaugh said.

Mr. Memphis is a graduate of Towson High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore.

Upon retiring from the Times, Memphis took a trip to Colorado for 10 days, before he was diagnosed with cancer in October, said his wife of 32 years, Karen Memphis.

"We're just so unbelievably happy he had the opportunity to spend that last moment doing something that he loved," Mrs. Memphis said.

Mr. Memphis loved Colorado and wanted to move there, his wife said. He was an outdoors enthusiast and loved traveling with his family, often driving in his family's van to different states or to Canada, she said.

"One thing I realized as I got older is the amount of the country I have gotten to see and experience because of my dad," said Kelly Memphis, 28, the oldest of his four daughters. "I think it's really cool that he did that for us."

Mr. Memphis traveled to 48 states, opting to travel by car so he could enjoy the scenery, Karen Memphis said.

He would often say, "Memphises don't go on vacations — they go on adventures," which became the family motto, she said.

He was an avid American history buff and enjoyed politics.


Mrs. Cimino said Mr. Memphis and her husband, Joe Cimino, would often debate politics. "It was fun to listen to them — although they disagreed, they were statesmen," she said.

He was a member of the University of Maryland Terrapin Club and enjoyed cheering for the Terps with his family and friends.

"We played a quite a few rounds of golf together and spent hours over the years talking about the Maryland Terrapins, as well as his family and their world-class vacations. He will truly be missed," Mr. Blubaugh said.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Kelly, he is survived by three daughters, Kerry Memphis, 26, Kasey Memphis, 21, and Kristy Memphis, 16; a sister, Xanthi Kielman, and her husband, Scott Kielman; and a brother, Ross Memphis, and his wife, Rhonda Memphis; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will hold a visitation 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, at the Fletcher Funeral & Cremation Services, 254 E. Main St. in Westminster. A service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Interment will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made to Carroll Hospice in Westminster or the Literacy Council of Carroll County in Westminster.