Former Jacksonville City Clerk and Emeritus Director of the Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority, Bill Hemmingway, has passed. He also was a consistent voice for veterans and believed that service to the community was a way of “returning the love that this community has given the military,” said Hemmingway in 2010. “This truly is a caring community.”
Conrad William “Bill” Hemmingway, 88, of Jacksonville, died Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at a care facility in Pender County.
After years of dedicated service in the US Navy, he served as City Clerk from 1970 to 1988. He held many offices and positions in the community, including with the Fleet Reserve Association where he also served at the national level.
“Mr. Bill was a fixture in our community, a true patriot, and he was there when the City needed him most,” said Mayor Sammy Phillips. “I served with the Police and understood that in his various roles with the City, he helped hold things together.”
“During his tenure, there were several times when the City was between City managers. Each time, Mr. Hemmingway held things together,” said Mayor Phillips. “He was a steady hand for the City of Jacksonville.”
“We will miss him greatly. His service to his City was outstanding and set a standard for others to achieve.”
Mr. Hemmingway was an inaugural member of the Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority. He was a strong supporter of the Museum of the Marine effort and served on the board of directors for that organization.
“Mr. Hemmingway knew the value of telling our story to others,” said Mayor Pro Tem Michael Lazzara who continues to serve as Chairman of the Tourism Authority. “He understood what had to be done to get visitors to our community and for others to know of the contributions of this community.”
“His service to this country, his service to our City and his continued advocacy for veterans as well as the active duty will be treasured, said Lazzara. “So too will be his ability to work with anyone that would benefit our community, and our City.”
Mr. Hemmingway had a distinguished career of twenty years in the Navy. He retired as a chief petty officer in 1967. His career served as a prelude of many more years of service to this community.
He served with the United Way, the Red Cross, the Jacksonville Lions Club, and the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce where he served on the Military and Government Affairs Committees.
He was a member of the Board of Directors for Marine Federal Credit Union and of course, he was a member of the Fleet Reserve Association Branch 208 since 1955.
He was a strong supporter of the effort to build the Beirut Memorial and in his capacity as a national officer, helped to secure a copy of the Marine at ease statute for placement at the national office.
His service to the City began September 28, 1970 as City Clerk.
Well respected by his peers, he was the third president of the NC Association of Municipal Clerks from 1979 to 1980. The organization was only formed in 1975.
The duty of City Tax Collector was added to his title in 1971 and in 1972 he served as City Finance Director for a period of time.
He left the City employment May 3, 1988.
He continued to serve the City after that. He helped with a group designed to consider a Community Complex in 1992. He was an advocate the City Bond for Recreation in 1995 and in 1999, he was a member of the Civic Center Ad Hoc Study Group.
He was the Outstanding Veteran of the Year in 1988 and recognized by the City for the Fleet Reserve Association Veteran of the year in 2010.
The Jacksonville City Council appointed Mr. Hemmingway to the Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority May 18, 2010. He finished his last term in 2017 as the Jacksonville City Council created a new Director Emeritus status June 20, 2017. For his distinguished service to the Authority, he was the first to be awarded that title.
In 2010, Mr. Hemmingway was quoted by the Daily News saying “The reason that retired military need to volunteer for things in the community that they are interested in. It’s not payback, it’s called, in my mind, return for the love that this community has given the military. This truly is a caring community.”