By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The person in charge of sending out the blasts for nearly a decade to make sure all gathered together for some of the biggest events in Millington didn’t mind not receiving the spotlight.
But the readers of The Millington Star recently put a change to that for Murph Carver. She was voted the 2020 Readers’ Choice Woman of the Year. The longtime Millington Telephone Company employee and administrative assistant for the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce was surprised to get the news of the honor.
“When I first found out, I was very humbled,” she said. “I felt I wasn’t deserving of it. In retrospect, I feel like it’s such a great honor. I love Millington and I felt like I’ve worked hard over the past several years, well my entire career to promote Millington.
“I live in Bartlett but Millington is my hometown,” Carver continued. “I grew up here and I’ve worked here. I know people here. It was very honoring for me to have this. It’s very humbling.”
Carver, a military child, moved to Millington twice in the 1960s finally setting up roots in 1968.
The daughter of Warren and Virginia Anderson went on to graduate from Millington Central High School in 1979.
Then after a stop in college, Carver joined the workforce starting a 31 year tenure at the Millington Telephone Company working for the late W.S. “Babe” Howard.
“I learned a lot from Jinny Music,” Carver recalled. “We were very respectful and we gave back to the community. We saw that in Mr. Howard how he gave back to the community. It resonates with you and want to make sure you can communicate well with people to understand their needs and wants.”
Carver’s last duty with the then Millington Telephone Company was being Howard’s secretary. After his passing and his children taking over, Carver continued to develop relationship with the dignitaries of Flag City.
“When he passed away I stayed on with the siblings,” she recalled. “Once Ritter came in, there were many changes and I wanted to leave. Then I went to the Chamber. I’ve already started my goals with the Chamber through the Telephone Company.
“Laura Rosas got me involved in the with the Chamber,” Carver added. “I became an ambassador and loved it. That leads you into being able to communicate with so many people.”
Her years at the Telephone Company helped her and husband Bobby raise their three children Jennifer Taylor, Clyde Carver and John Myers. With the children grown, it was time for Carver to take on a new challenge in her professional life.
She took her years of experience from her previous job, work ethic and lessons from her parents to the Chamber.
“To me Millington is such a family town,” she explained. We’re embracing. We embrace everybody. I loved everybody who came in there and respected everybody. I would say treat them like you would treat your mother and that would go a long way.”
Carver became the go-to person for Chamber executive directors Diane Baker and Terry Roland during her 6 years there.
“The hidden gems are you have to get in touch with people,” she recalled. “You have to coordinate all activities and different things. I am a background person. I used to be up in front and I liked that. Then it got to where I didn’t like it as much. I wanted to be in the back, the worker bees.
“There’s just so many things involved in ribbon cuttings, or anything like a groundbreaking or opening of a business,” Carver continued. “You have to make sure you coordinate everything with the owners. That was my task. I was the admin assistant getting in touch with these people to make sure everything as coordinated.”
Whether it was the Chamber E-Blast, sending mass text messages or giving a personal call, Carver made sure members and the media were informed.
And the recent growth in Millington kept Carver busy.
“It’s truly amazing that many years ago the leaders in Millington started planting seeds,” she said. “It has come to be and you can just go down Highway 51 and see all these new businesses, shopping centers and what’s to come to Millington. Millington is going to be terrific.
“Millington is going to turn into a terrific city,” Carver added. “Not that it already isn’t a wonderful city but you’re going to have beautiful houses come in. Hopefully the military will start coming in living here because they’re closer to work. As far as the growth of the businesses, it’s been truly amazing. Diane Baker got the ball rolling in a lot of thing. Terry has brought more to the table. It’s a good thing and Millington is a good place to live.”
The end of 2019 saw Carver stepped down from her position at the Chamber. She had to make the decision to attend to her father Warren.
After the passing of her mother almost two years ago, Carver heart was moved to take care of the man who invested so much in her.
“It was a Godsend to me, God spoke to me and said, ‘Take care of your daddy. It’s time,’” she said. “I just talked to my husband and he said go for it. I have not regretted one moment of it. My dad and mom raised us. They had five daughters and I am the fourth child.
“My younger sister and I basically take care of him,” Carver added. “We’re working hard to keep him healthy. If it wasn’t for them teaching us from right and wrong, respecting people I don’t think this would have come to be.”
Carver said those family values taught by her parents and reinforced by Millington has made her service to those she loves easy. And to get recognition as the 2020 Woman of the Year means the world to her.
“We are a tight knit community,” she said. “Our hearts go out to everybody when something happens. Just like when my mother passed, The Millington Star reached out to our family and did the obituary. It was beautiful. It’s things like that.
“People here are truly sincere about caring,” Carver concluded. “That’s one thing I know about the people of Millington, they do care. It’s not a fake thing. That’s what I love because somebody could call me tomorrow. If all possible even where I am in life, I going to do all that is possible to be helpful and be there for them.”