William C. “Bill” Stankiewicz

Published 2:33 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

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Civic leader and two-term mayor of Hogansville, William C. “Bill” Stankiewicz passed peacefully on Jan. 22, 2023, at his home surrounded by his family.

 He was 78. A native of Philadelphia, Bill served six years in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1967 with 2 years active duty as Second Class Radarman aboard the USS Little Rock, a guided missile cruiser. 

He continued his affiliation with the Navy as President and board member of the USS Little Rock Association for many years. Following discharge, he earned a degree from Drexel University in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting and law and soon began a 30-year career with ARA Services (a.k.a. ARAMARK), a multinational service management corporation. He retired in 2000 as Vice President of Finance of their Uniform Rental Division.

Bill and his wife, Mary Stewart, were drawn from Atlanta to Hogansville in 1999 as an ideal place to realize their dream of opening an antique business. Collectors since their youth, they established William & Mary Antiques and Sports Collectibles. 

From the beginning, Bill sought volunteer opportunities to best serve the community, and the legacy he has left is immense. He served as chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission as well as on numerous board appointments including the Troup County Center for Strategic Planning, Troup County Chamber of Commerce, Hogansville Downtown Development Authority, United Way of West Georgia, Treasurer of the Hogansville-Meriwether County Joint Development Authority, and treasurer of the Hogansville Charitable Trust.

In 2006, the Hogansville City Council asked Bill to serve as city manager, a post he held until 2011. Seeking to represent Hogansville’s interest at the county and state level, Bill successfully ran for mayor in 2013 and again in 2017. 

During a contentious second election, he sought to heal, not divide. 

Numerous accomplishments during his two terms include overhaul of the city’s water and waste water treatment infrastructures, proactive industry recruitment, improved fire service, major debt reduction from near insolvency to a retired debt, competitive utility rates and taxes, a new library, parks, parking lots and amenities. 

He was especially proud of his involvement with Racial Trustbuilding, Inc. and its achievements.

Bill and Mary, as co-directors, took on the promotion and coordination of The Hummingbird Festival, a 22-year endeavor which saw expansion from 1,200 annual attendees to 18,000. 

Managed by the Hogansville Charitable Trust, proceeds combined with matching grants totaling nearly $1 million have funded civic projects and improvements.

His life-long passion for sports was sparked by his cousin Eddie Stanky who played 11 seasons for National League baseball teams. This love, plus a bent for entrepreneurship, started early. At age 15, Bill ran a concession stand in front of Municipal Stadium in Philadelphia during the 1959 Army Navy game, a legendary matchup to this day. Playing rugby on a national team and a stint as a ski instructor in Alaska suggests that there was no sport he didn’t love. 

Living in Atlanta for 10 years necessitated season tickets to the Braves baseball games during which time he served as a board member of the Braves 400 Club.

Bill was widely read and always had a story to tell from his vast store of knowledge, often quoting his favorite statesman, Winston Churchill. 

He routinely opened City Council meetings with a witticism, a “this day in history,” or a tone-setting anecdote. 

His long-time assistant and City Clerk, Lisa Kelly, now interim City Manager, thought of him as “ a beacon who pointed us in the right direction and tireless in his dedication to our city.”

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Mary, his son, William C. Stankiewicz, II, (Jennifer), and two sisters, Robin Stevens (Robert) and Joyce DeCarlo (John), plus several loving nieces and nephews.

Friends are invited to attend an ecumenical celebration of Bill’s life at 2 P.M., Tuesday, Feb. 7, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in LaGrange, with Father Timothy Gadziala officiating, followed by a reception in the Parish Hall.

A Funeral Mass of the Resurrection at St. Peter’s will be planned for family and close friends, with inurnment to be at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Hogansville Charitable Trust, 200 E. Main Street, Hogansville, Georgia 30230.

Claude A. McKibben and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.