A familiar face with a name synonymous to good service died on Friday.
Bill Hall owned and operated Bill Hall’s Phillips 66 for 47 years before retiring on Dec. 31, 2001. He began managing his own full-service service station on Sept. 2, 1954.
Hall died on Sept. 8 at Presbyterian Manor in Farmington. He was 92 years old.
This spring, Farmington Mayor Larry Forsythe presented Hall with the first Distinguished Citizen Award – a new recognition created by the mayor following his election into office in April.
“Bill Hall is Farmington,” Forsythe said, recognizing Hall’s more than four decades in the business. “I thought the city needed something to honor an individual … I came up with the Distinguished Citizen Award. I wanted everyone to know who he was and what he’s done.
“When I thought of the award, he was the first person I thought of (to designate as a recipient).”
Hall is remembered as a person who would always lend a helping hand and was noted for his yard and flower garden.
Forsythe said Hall often helped water the hanging baskets in downtown Farmington after his retirement.
Before his retirement in 2001, Daily Journal Managing Editor Doug Smith – at the helm of the Farmington Press at that time – wrote a feature story on Hall’s pending retirement.
“To those who patronize his business he's a friendly face and a constant friend in an ever-changing world,” Smith wrote at the time. “One of his first customers still trades with him. Literally thousands of different customers have passed through his parking lot.
"He's an example of what many say a businessman should strive to be. He has worked a lot of 16-hour days and kept his shop open 7-days-a-week for years. He can't recall the last time he had more than four days off in a row.”
Hall enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17 in 1943. He served a three-year stint in the South Pacific and eventually returned home to work as a parts manager for a local garage. He was called back to duty for a year-and-a-half when the Korean War began to escalate.
Once back home, Hall went into business for himself. He first operated a service station near the intersection of what is now Route OO and Hwy. 32. Six years later, he and the Phillips Petroleum Co. entered a new partnership at the current store location.
As his business grew, so did his family. He and wife June, who died in 2015, raised three children, Keith, Kent and Kim. Both Keith and Kent washed windshields at the station as soon as they were big enough to reach the middle of the glass. June kept the books for the business.
A stop at Hall's traditionally meant having gas pumped for you, the windows cleaned, oil checked if needed, and even a hand washing of the exterior. Hall hired local high school boys to wash cars, sometimes having as many as five working at a time. Repairs were also made, by appointment.
Hall moved to Farmington at an early age where he attended St. Paul Lutheran School and Farmington High School. He was a lifelong member of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Farmington.
Survivors include his three children, Keith (Emily) Hall of Brandon, MS, Kent (Jennifer) Hall of Farmington and Kim (David) Hillyard of Imperial; three grandchildren, Michael (Becca) Hall, Megan (Jason) Coleman and Mitchell Hillyard; five great grandchildren, Andrew, Blake, Easton, Peyton, Colten plus one grandchild on the way; and a host of in-laws and other extended family members.
Friends may call at Cozean Memorial Chapel from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday with a memorial service beginning at 7 p.m. with Reverend Jacob Pollard and Reverend Bob Webb officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or to Presbyterian Manor’s Good Samaritan Fund. A tribute video can be viewed at cozeanfuneralhome.com.