Boats 09

William Gemmill

October 2, 1944 ~ January 21, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old

William Gemmill Obituary

William Gemmill, 79, of Wiscasset, Maine, passed away peacefully at Togus Springs Hospice on January 21, 2024. Born on October 2, 1944 in New York City, he was raised by his parents Huber and Marion Gemmill in Short Hills, New Jersey. 

Bill graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by an MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg School. Realizing he would be drafted into the Army in the Vietnam War upon graduation, he chose OCS with the Navy as his branch of service and served as a Lieutenant JG in Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

He is survived by his wife, Sally; his brother, John (Kathleen); his nieces, Laurie Gemmill Arp, Amy Gemmill Feste, and Robin Smith. His sister, Judith D’Errico, predeceased him.

Bill was a quiet man with a vast store of knowledge, especially maritime history, art and antiques, and he was able to communicate his learning and enthusiasm clearly and easily. More than one person remarked over the years that he should have been a teacher, but business was more to his liking. He spent his first years after leaving the Navy in Sales and International Marketing with Coty Cosmetics, Avon, and Helena Rubinstein, serving as General Manager of the Rubinstein subsidiary in Johannesburg, South Africa from 1980 to 1985, a very positive experience for both him and Sally.

Upon returning from South Africa, he owned and ran several small businesses, but found his calling in the late 1990’s as a financial advisor with a division of American Express, which later became Ameriprise Financial. Bill loved to help people reach their financial goals. He loved to get to know his clients, and he built a large business thanks to the care he showed them. He was knowledgeable, honest, and trustworthy. If a client couldn’t come to him, he made a special house call.

As retirement loomed, he and Sally considered where they might live, and moved from their Connecticut home to Wiscasset, where they found the Federal period house of their dreams. Both Bill and Sally were delighted to find a friendly community, where they have made many friends. Bill’s interest in maritime history and love of maritime art served him well on the boards of the Maine Maritime Museum and the Lincoln County Historical Society, as well as on the collections committee of Historic New England. He and Sally joined the Decorative Arts Trust, with whom they traveled both domestically and internationally, and were members of the American Folk Art Society, also traveling extensively with this group of dedicated folk art collectors. His passion was books, primarily non-fiction reference books on many different subjects, especially period art and decorative objects. He just liked to collect, period.

Bill did not like to talk about himself, and could turn the conversation around adeptly, so he was no longer the subject. Instead, one learned about Bill through his many stories. He was described by a niece as “super smart, slyly funny, and having a fierce dry wit”. He will be sorely missed.

A service to remember Bill will be held at 3:00pm, on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Wiscasset.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543.  Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting:



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Memorial Service
April 27, 2024

3:00 PM
St. Philip's Episcopal Church
12 Hodge Street
Wiscasset, ME 04578
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