MANCHESTER - Champ Zumbrun's jovial and easygoing manner, his readiness with a joke or a smile, will be greatly missed.
"Champ was known for his wit," Town Manager Kathyrn L. Riley said of the former councilman who died suddenly at age 78 of heart disease early Tuesday morning in his home.
After serving the town from May 1977 to December 1982, Zumbrun was nominated for the county Board of License Commissioners, where he served as chairman for the past five years.
"Everyone always looked forward to seeing him come in," said Ron Lau, the board's administrator for the past three years. "When he walked into the office, he was always very jovial, always had a story or a joke."
Earle H. Brewer, a board member for two years, said he will also miss Zumbrun as a golfing partner and friend.
"I have known him as a friend for a lot of years," he said. "He had a great sense of humor. It was a great pleasure to be around him.
"There are just so many good times that I had with the man."
Zumbrun, a retired sergeant major with the state police, was known as a leader who cared greatly about his community and its members.
"He was a very compassionate person," Russell Mayer, liquor board alternate, said. "He really cared about people and their problems."
Mayer, retired from the Baltimore County police force in Woodlawn, said he remembered Zumbrun's service as a trooper in Randallstown.
"He was always what I thought of as a trooper, very caring and understanding," he said.
Riley said Zumbrun was a very dedicated council member.
"He was always interested in going to other places and learning about things that would benefit the town," she said.
Mayor Elmer C. Lippy -- who never served on the council with Zumbrun although they were good friends -- agreed.
"He liked a good joke, but in anything that involved the welfare of the citizens, he was dead serious," he said. "He took his position very seriously."
Zumbrun will not only be missed here, but as a leader throughout Maryland, said his pastor, the Rev. Mark Schlichter of Trinity United Church of Christ.
"He made so many contributions in various leadership roles over the years," he said. "He was one of the pillars of our church and our community."
Schlichter said Zumbrun was an asset to the church, from serving as an officer to being Sunday school superintendent.
Zumbrun's seat on the liquor board will be filled by Mayer until the County Commissioners appoint a replacement, Lau said.