The year 2019 has hardly begun and already the march of time has not been kind for a number of older, distinguished Carroll countians.
Among the folks who have made a difference in the community, whom we have lost in the first two months of the year are:
Richard Haddad, 77, who died Thursday, January 31, 2019.
David McDonald, 68, a former pharmaceutical representative and owner of Westminster Rare Coins who died Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.
Bobbye Schaeffer, 93, of the Schaeffer Lumber Company family in Westminster, died Friday, February 15, 2019 at Lorien Nursing and Rehab Center in Taneytown.
Dr. Alton Law, 85, of Westminster died Tuesday, February 19, 2019 from complications related to a rare neurological disease.
In a tribute to Carroll County Times columnist Ruth Seitler I wrote on Jan. 23, 2008; I quoted her son Jim Seitler who observed, “As children we think that time stands still and as adults we realize that it moves faster than we want.” Seitler wrote for so many years that many of us took it for granted that she would write forever. Obviously, time moves faster than we want.
These four distinguished leaders selflessly served the community for so many years it was simply assumed that they would be here forever. Sadly such is not the case. Their passing obviously left many folks sad as the memorial services for all these individuals was well-attended and the stories that were told is the stuff that only the Hallmark Channel might top. I am proud to note, in full disclosure, that I had the distinct honor to have worked with all these individuals in various capacities over the years.
Haddad served five years was the president of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. He was hired on Feb. 27, 2006. In an article I wrote on July 7, 2010, I wrote that the roots of the present-day chamber date back to the first meeting of the “Westminster Chamber of Commerce” on Wednesday, July 23, 1924. The Westminster Chamber of Commerce became the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 1, 1973.
With his energy, brilliant mind, meticulous management skills, and excellent writing abilities, Haddad easily built upon the rich tradition and history of the Chamber that has served as a driving force in the community for decades.
Haddad, whose particular field of management expertise was human resources, was originally from Brooklyn, New York. He worked in the 1960s as the Equal Employment Opportunity program director for CitiBank in New York. He first came to Maryland in 1971.
And like everyone in today’s discussion, Haddad was not only the best — he was also nice. None of the folks in today’s discussion were born and raised in Carroll County. They were all examples of the caliber of individuals that are attracted to our community because of our high quality of life. I always said that all of them came to Carroll County as quickly as they could.
McDonald, the husband of local prominent attorney Patricia McDonald, came to Carroll County from Detroit. He received his B.A. in political science from Gettysburg College and a Masters of Business Management from Frostburg State University. He retired after being a pharmaceutical representative for Boehringer Ingelheim for 30 years. He was also the owner of Westminster Rare Coins and he specialized in British Commonwealth coins.
It was standing room only at McDonald’s memorial service on Feb. 23 at the historic Ascension Church on Court Street. The Rev. Ron Fisher spoke at the service. My friend David Kreider played the organ and JoAnne Kreider spoke at the service. McDonald had a never-ending sense of adventure. Several years ago, the McDonalds, Kreiders, my wife and I joined about 30 or so other folks from McDaniel College and spent three weeks in Greece. JoAnne Kreider said that Dave McDonald always referred to it as the trip of a lifetime.
Bobbye Schaeffer came to us in Carroll County from Baton Rouge Louisiana. She met her husband of 72 years, F. David Schaeffer, at a USO dance during WWII. They were married July 1, 1944 just before David was shipped out to the Pacific Theater. In 1946, after the war, they moved to Westminster where David formed The Schaeffer Lumber Co. along with his brother and father.
Many folks attended Schaeffer’s memorial service on Saturday, March 2 at the Myers-Durboraw Funeral Home on Willis Street in Westminster. Rev. Kevin Clementson of Grace Lutheran Church led the memorial service. Family members shared many delightful stories about Schaeffer’s adventures playing golf, home decorating, and traveling. She was a member of the Junior Woman’s Club and later the Woman’s Club of Westminster, and a member of the Carroll Garden Club.
Law served as a distinguished member of the faculty at McDaniel College for 34 years, including 22 as chair of the Economics and Business Administration department. He was the husband of Sheila Buttner Law.
He served two years in Army intelligence in Germany before coming to Carroll County. Law was a prolific writer. He published numerous articles and papers in professional journals, particularly in the area of international economics that appeared in the Canadian Journal of Economics, The Atlantic Economic Journal, and Inter-American Economic Affairs, among others.
He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Westminster. Folks filled the sanctuary at the church for his memorial service on Saturday, March 2, led by Rev. Martha Clementson.
All of these individuals helped shape the county we enjoy today. It is important that we remember them.
In 1991, historian Jay Graybeal wrote about Carroll County Times assistant editor J. Leland Jordan. For many years he wrote a column, “Time Flies,” that he began on July 7, 1942. The column was about history in the making and local happenings. Although Jordan passed away in 1955, his legacy was often the topic of conversation in town well into the 1960s.
Jordan’s writings offer an important perspective on local history. His column title reminded his readers “As the clock strikes the hour, how often we say ‘Time Flies!’ when it is we that are passing away.”