Kevin Dayhoff October 15, 2009 (I’ll update this later with some more personal anecdotes about Mr. Magee – and some pictures. What follows is my story that I filed earlier with http://www.explorecarroll.com/ – that has not been posted, as yet, on the web site):
Community friends and family are mourning the loss of Charles Francis Magee, 88, of Westminster, who died after a long illness at the Carroll Hospice Dove House late Thursday evening.
Magee was born on his family’s farm in Reese on March 20, 1921; the son of the late John L. and Hilda L. Evans Magee. He was the husband of Madge Brown Magee, his wife of 65 years. He was a 1938 graduate of Westminster High School.
He was a popular and well-know community leader, artist and photographer who struck out on his own in the photography business at the age of 24, after he served in the Navy from 1942 to 1945.
One of his earlier photographs is in the collection of the Historical Society of Carroll County; a gift of Mrs. Betty Smith Yingling, 1992. The photograph, from November 1941, depicts “members of the Ladies Aid Society of the Meadow Branch Church of the Brethren gathered in an unidentified farmhouse room for a quilting party.”
After World War Two, he returned home to start the “Westminster Studio,” in 1945, and joined a rich history and tradition of talented artists and photographers who have chronicled the life and times of Carroll County since an itinerant photographer by the name of J. T. Williams first advertized in local newspapers in 1842.
He located his studio at 39 East Main Street – interestingly enough with phone number “39.” Later his phone number changed to “Westminster 700.” An early phone book advertisement from November 1954 said, “Photographs for every purpose, portrait, commercial … Anytime – Anywhere.”
After 40 years in the business, Magee retired in 1985; but he remained active in civic organizations and as a familiar friend at community events.
He was a member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, and a member of the Veteran’s Corp of the Westminster Volunteer Fire Department.
According to his family, Magee was also a 63-year member and past president of the Forest and Stream Club, a 50-year member and past Master of the Door to Virtue Masonic Lodge #46, a life member of the American Legion Carroll Post 031, a member of Boumi Temple and the Bee Hive Club.
In addition to his life-long avocation as a photographer, Magee also enjoyed hobbies such as skiing, singing in various vocal groups, model trains, woodworking, hunting, and golfing, according to family members.
Surviving, in addition to his wife, are son and daughter-in-law John H. and Pat Magee of Westminster, daughter and son-in-law Bonnie S. and Jay Evans of York, PA., 5 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
The family will receive friends at the Pritts Funeral Home and Chapel, 412 Washington Road, Westminster on Monday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm where a Masonic Service will be held in the evening. A private family interment will be held at Krider’s Church Cemetery.
A Memorial Service will be held at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Bond and Green Streets, Westminster on Sunday, October 25 at 1:30 pm with the Rev. Marty Kuchma officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s United Church of Christ or to the charity of one’s choice.
Online condolences may be made to the family at http://www.prittsfuneralhome.com/.
Kevin Dayhoff may reached at kevindayhoff at gmail.com or visit him at www.westminstermarylandonline.net
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