William Haemmel(1924 - 2012)


CHAPEL HILL - William Gordon "Bill" Haemmel passed away on September 20, 2012 at Carol Woods Retirement Community. He was born on June 28, 1924 in the Bronx, New York to the late F. William and Kathryn Spatz Haemmel. In addition to his parents, his sister, Eleanor Haemmel Goepfert, preceded him in death.

Bill proudly served as a tank soldier (Private First Class) in the 1st Armed Division in North Africa and Italy during World War II, receiving a Purple Heart for his valor. After the war, he attended New York University on the GI Bill: BS (Commerce) and MA (Arts and Science) and University of Houston Law School: JD. Bill was licensed to practice law in Texas, New York, Tennessee and North Carolina. He was a professor of business law and economics at University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, and Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, N.C., and a labor arbitrator.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 60 years, Mabel Stephenson Haemmel; and children, Elizabeth of Concord, Calif., Will of Grass Valley, Calif., and Katherine aka Kate Steinbeck and husband, Chris Abell, and two grandchildren, Galen and Charlotte Abell, of Asheville, N.C.

Bill was an honest and ethical person who believed in treating everyone with fairness. He was a staunch yet bipartisan Liberal. A passionate researcher and writer of genealogy and history, he self-published two volumes of family history, 21 Immigrant Kin and The Tidewaters Virginia Dillards and Kin, and his war memoir, A Tank Soldier's Journal. A memorial will take place at a later date.


Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Oct. 7, 2012