Seven outstanding citizens will be inducted in the Atmore Area Hall of Fame April 28: Athletics – Willie Parker and Earl Miller; Government – Stephanie Bryan and Weldon Vickrey; Business – Dale Ash and Bill Farr; Medicine – Ima Joan Helton-Crawford
The induction ceremony and dinner will be held Saturday, April 28, 6 p.m., at The Club, Highway 21, Atmore. Tickets, $25 each, are available at Atmore News and United Bank. Note: Everyone must have a ticket to attend the ceremony and dinner. All former inductees are invited to attend at no cost, courtesy of the Hall of Fame Committee.
This week, Atmore News features inductee Bill Farr. Information provided by the Hall of Fame Committee.
William (Bill) F. Farr
Bill was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. He quit school to join the Navy when he was 17 years old. He received a GED while in the Navy. He served four years aboard the USS Essex carrier during the Korean war. He was stationed on the Navy base in Foley when he met and married his wife Shirley Kinney of Elberta after he was discharged in 1957. They were married 46 years. They had a daughter Sandra Lee and a son William E. (Billy).
In 1959 Bill was hired by Monsanto Textiles in Pensacola and worked in the Production and Quality control department until he was promoted and transferred to the Greenville, South Carolina Management Information Center in 1962. He worked in sales and customer service until he relocated back to Alabama in 1970. The Samperils, from Providence, Rhode Island, hired Bill to help establish a new manufacturing operation in the Old Ribbon Mill in Atmore. The business was named Samco, Inc. Bill had total responsibility for plant operations, such as developing new processes, equipment and fabrics for a newly developing non-woven fabric industry.
After 18 years, the Samco plant was sold to International Paper. Bill was then employed with IP and successfully operated this multimillion dollar facility until International Paper moved in 1991.
When IP decided to move from Atmore, Bill was instrumental in locating a buyer for the Samco building. Atmore Industries purchased the building and Bill’s son, Billy Farr, was hired as plant manager for this company.
At this time Bill began a Consulting and Sales service business, which he ran until he retired in 1996.
Bill was very active in community service for Atmore. His service included
* Two terms as President of the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce
* President of the Atmore Lions Club
* State Chairman on fund raising advisory committee for the Alabama Heart Association
* Chairman of the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce Medical Service Board
* Chairman of Alabama Heart Association Escambia County
* Chairman of the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce Industrial Development Board Advisory Board on Sudden Infant Death Program, Escambia, Mobile and Baldwin counties
* Advisory Board Atmore State Technical College
* Advisory Board Escambia County High Vocational School
* Private Industry Council
* Blood Procurement Chairman West Escambia County American Red Cross as well as helping during local blood drives
* Advisory Board Atmore Council of Fine Arts
* Escambia County Hospital Board
* Chairman of Escambia County Sheriff’s Emergency Relief Fund
Bill received the following awards:
* Atmore Citizen of the Year 1980
* Patent Development-International Paper 1989
* Heart Association Fund Raising award 1976, 1977, and 1978
* Progressive Civic and Recreational Club, Inc. award for Unlimited Community Service, Charitable Donations to the Area, Wide Public Agencies and sensitivity toward recognizing other municipally supported needs in and out of Atmore
* Special Service Award
Bill was a member of Brooks Memorial Baptist Church and served as a Deacon and member of several committees while at Brooks until he passed away on April 12, 2004.
Bill always had a heart to serve his church and community.