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William Arthur Gemmel Jr. (“Bill”), of Oceanport, New Jersey, passed away suddenly on Monday, August 26, 2019, at the age of 76, with his loving wife of 55 years by his side.  Born in Brooklyn, New York, Bill was the son of William Arthur Gemmel Sr., and Corrinna Vernon Gemmel.

Bill was predeceased by his parents.  Surviving are his wife and high school sweetheart, Jill Hammersley Gemmel, his three children, Patti Tait of Rumson, NJ, Pam Chandler of Rumson, NJ, and Bill Gemmel III, of San Francisco, CA, as well as his brothers, Charlie Gemmel of Egg Harbor Township, NJ, and Doug Gemmel of Victor, ID.  Bill was a wonderful uncle to seven nieces and nephews, Lisa, Rob, Laurie, Alexis, Jim, JC, and Taylor. A beloved “Grampy,” he also was blessed with nine grandchildren, Spencer, Bradley, Jillian, Morgan, Brooks, Hayden, Zoe, Wills and Becks.

Bill grew up in Linwood, NJ where he had an idyllic childhood on the beach and the ball field. He played shortstop for Brighton Farms during the inaugural Linwood Little League game, followed by a successful career, in the same position, as an Ocean City High School Red Raider.  Bill graduated in 1961 from Ocean City High School, where he met and fell in love with his wife Jill. They married on November 11,1964 and moved to New York where he attended Wagner College and New York University.

 Over the course of more than 40 years Bill built an extraordinary career in international banking with four of the world’s leading financial institutions: The Irving Trust Company, Bank of New York, Bank of Boston, and London-based Standard Chartered Bank. He began his career on Wall Street with Irving Trust and attained positions of increasing executive responsibility serving overseas for almost 20 years in senior management assignments in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and Vietnam. Bill liked to joke that during his professional life he and Jill “took the scenic route” and he was proud of the fact that his children’s international exposure had made them “citizens of the world.” 

Bill’s many and varied executive assignments included senior country executive positions for all of the countries in which he served and as a senior executive and member of the Board of Directors for Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank, an Irving Trust and later Bank of New York affiliate. Bill held particularly strong affection for South Korea where he was considered to be among the “Deans” of Seoul’s foreign banking community, a city in which he served for 10 years, first as Bank of Boston’s country chief executive and later with Standard Chartered Bank in the same capacity. Throughout his career Bill was deeply admired by clients and colleagues alike for his consummate professionalism, technical acumen, the depth of his experience, and his quiet but powerful leadership qualities.  But, most of all, Bill was admired for his high ethical standards and unfailing sense of humor. 

In his retirement years, Bill kept active by serving as President of the Board of Directors at Manna House, a transitional housing program that served women and children in Monmouth County to help them successfully transition from homelessness and dependence on county welfare assistance to their own apartment and full time employment.  Bill generously supported all of Jill’s volunteer efforts including Family and Children’s Services of Monmouth County, Holiday Express, and St. George’s-by-the-River Episcopal Church. Bill also routinely enjoyed rounds of golf with Jill and friends at Navesink Country Club, as well as traveling domestically and abroad with family and friends.  However, his pride and joy was truly his family and his dog(s) and he cherished every moment he had to spend with them.  

Loved by all who had the pleasure of knowing him, Bill was a wonderful storyteller, a compassionate listener, a devoted husband, and an exceptional father who gave his children, whom he supported in every way, a wonderful, happy childhood on the Jersey shore and beyond.  

A Celebration of the Life of Bill Gemmel will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, September 14th, 2019 at St. George’s-by-the-River Episcopal Church, in Rumson, NJ.  Thompson Memorial Home has been entrusted with the arrangements.  For further information, please visit their website at

The family gratefully acknowledges the love and compassion shown by their dear family friends, Dr. Jang, Dr. Kim, and their children, Sue and Jun, with arranging Bill’s medical care while he and Jill vacationed in Seoul, as well as managing the logistics of their repatriation to the United States.  The family also would like to thank with sincere gratitude the dedicated doctors and nurses of the ICU at Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital for the valiant efforts afforded to our beloved husband and father.

The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers you consider a donation to St. George’s-by-the-River Episcopal Church, Rumson, NJ, the Monmouth County ASPCA, or a charity of your choice.



Bruce S. Thompson, Owner & Manager, NJ LIC #3740