“Please tell the brothers I love them.”
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL – Sigma Tau Gamma Headquarters has learned that Society of Seventeen Inductee and 12th National President W.T. “Bill” Hembree, Pittsburg State, ’42 entered Chapter Eternal on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Bill gave his entire life to Sigma Tau Gamma, being a national volunteer for over 60 years.
Through his service, Bill demonstrated a lifelong commitment to Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity. Of the thousands of Sig Taus linked in membership over nearly 100 years, only a select few have fully demonstrated their commitment to Sigma Tau Gamma as Bill did.
Bill served as National President of Sigma Tau Gamma from 1962 – 1964 and served 14 years as a member of the Fraternity Board of Directors. He was Chairman of the Golden Challenge Campaign, the capital fundraising effort to build a headquarters building in Warrensburg. He was also President of the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation and was President of the Wilson C. Morris Fellowship.
In recognition of his many decades of continuous service and inspiration, Bill was one of the first men to be honored as a Society of Seventeen inductee, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon any Sigma Tau Gamma Brother. He eventually became the second Chairman of the Society. He received the Winebrenner Distinguished Fraternity Service Award in 2016 and received the Marvin Millsap Distinguished Foundation Service Medal in 1985.
Additionally, the 1990 Grand Chapter in Dallas, TX was named the “Bill Hembree Grand Chapter,” the “Hembree Guild” recognizes giving through estate planning and the “Hembree Campus Leadership Award” is a coveted annual award given to deserving chapters.
Bill never forgot his roots. He served Epsilon Chapter as a member of its alumni board and as a trustee of the O.F. Grubbs Educational Foundation, which he served as Awards Chairman. In addition, he was an active member of the Greater Kansas City Alumni Chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma.
Bill was an accomplished businessman who began his career with the Sinclair Coal Company, moved to the Vendo Company as a Division President and finally to United Telecommunication Corporation (now Sprint) where he was Director of Employee Benefits until his retirement in 1989.
The only love that ran deeper than Bill’s love for his Sigma Tau Gamma was for his wife Connie who preceded him in death in 2017. Married for over six decades, Connie became a staple at national conferences.
“Over the years I have become acquainted with many fine men and women and look forward to seeing them again and again. My fondest memories are of the young men and women who attend these meetings.”
Bill and Connie’s love was infectious when they were together. Connie was a poet and loved to express her love for both Bill and Sigma Tau Gamma through her poetry.
“The passing of a loved one
Leaves a void that God must fill.
But with faith, you know it happens
According to His will!”
Bill was full of wisdom, found his purpose in life, and lived a life of nobility. We Hail Thee Brother!
A celebration of life for Brother Bill Hembree will take place in Kansas City, MO later this spring. The family has asked that all gifts be made in his honor to the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation. Gifts can be made online at www.sigtau.org/donate by completing the tribute information near the bottom of the donation form. If you would like to make your gift via check, please make payable to Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation and then mailed to Sigma Tau Gamma’s gift processing center at, PO Box 2187 Columbus, GA 31902-2187. Please include “In Memory of Bill Hembree” in the memo line of the check.
If you have any fond memories, stories, or accounts of Bill, Headquarters and Staff would love to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Bill Hembree Memory,” so that these beloved stories can be saved and used at a later date.
“For me and so many others privileged to walk in Bill’s humble shadow, to witness first-hand how he ordered his life according to our Principles, to observe his generosity of spirit and checkbook in support of any need of his beloved Sigma Tau Gamma… to have known Bill Hembree was a blessing beyond measure for he was the personification of our Brotherhood, a very real Noble Man and the true embodiment of a Sig Tau for Life.”
- 20th National President Buz Barlow, UW – Oshkosh
“However the end is never easy – Bill was such a remarkable Brother, and he loved his Fraternity. At the age of 99, he had an extremely sharp mind and a remarkable memory. No one could epitomize better Sig Tau for Life than Bill.“
- 22nd National President Kenley Hoover, IU Pennsylvania
“Bill has been looking out for me since I was an undergraduate. He secured a position for me at US Sprint where he was an HR executive. I started in March of 1987 and I am still there to this day. Over the years he’d check in with me from time to time to see how my career was going. He always had important advice and insights. In many ways, I owe my career to him. He certainly loved Sigma Tau Gamma and we loved him back. I will miss Bill but have plenty of cherished memories to keep him in my thoughts.”
- 32nd National President John Heiman, Central Missouri
ABOUT SIGMA TAU GAMMA FRATERNITY
Founded at the University of Central Missouri on June 28, 1920, the organization will commemorate its 100th Anniversary in 2020. With a presence on 85 campuses in 31 states, our membership includes more than 3,000 undergraduate men and 63,000 living alumni. The Headquarters, which is home to the Fraternity, Foundation, and WPN Housing Company, is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, 12 miles from the center of downtown. Visit http://sigtau.org for additional information.