Former Hancock mayor remembered as 'very colorful'

November 21, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

James G. Myers, who was Hancock mayor from 1989 to 1993, died Wednesday at his home. He was 60.

"He was a very friendly, outgoing individual. He enjoyed life," friend and colleague Louis O. Close said Thursday. Close was a Hancock councilman while Myers was mayor. They remained friends long after they left city office, Close said.

"When he served the town, he certainly did have the best interests of the town in mind," Mayor Daniel A. Murphy said. "Jimmy was certainly a very colorful individual."

"I think he did a great job," Close said. "He listened to the people. He took care of their problems and complaints."


"He had some personal problems that everyone has once in a while," Close said.

Close said Myers' "personal problems" included serving time in jail in 1993 after pleading guilty to 32 criminal counts of failing to pay nearly $700,000 in fuel and sales taxes for six Highway Express gas stations he owned.

After he was released, he did some of his required community service work by helping the town, Close said.

"He would do anything we asked him to do," Close said. "He kept an eye on things in town."

Murphy said Myers served the town as a "lookout for needs in the community, mainly with public works and streets and parks." He would help identify where there were problems with parks and lights and potholes, Close said.

In October 2000, the four then-living former mayors of Hancock - Daniel R. Fleming, Ernest W. Fink, Myers and Ralph E. Wachter - as well as relatives of deceased former mayors, attended a ceremony at which a pear tree was dedicated to the mayors.

Lowell Younker, co-owner of The Bridge Restaurant, said Myers was an enterprising person.

"He had the guts to go out on his own," Younker said. "He was a real go-getter."

Myers, who served in the U.S. Army, owned Highway Petroleum in Hancock for 35 years.

He was a charter member of the historical society, which is about 15 years old, society President Don Corbett said. Myers was interested in trying to promote the town and one way to do that was to remind people of the area's history, he said.

The family will receive friends today from 7 to 9 p.m. at Grove Funeral Home in Hancock; and at the church Saturday at 10 a.m. The funeral home will open today at 2 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to Hancock Historical Society, 126 W. High St., Hancock, MD 21750.

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