TOP PHOTO: WLAF broadcast live from the former West La Follette School on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 26, 2017, as Bill Archer and others gathered for a Liberty Park “All Sports Reunion.”
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Former Campbell County Clerk & Master Bill Archer passed away on Friday night, and his brother-in-law Garry Hensley was able to see him one last time.
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Hensley explains that Archer was like a brother to him ever since he started courting his sister, Linda, back in the 1960s. “He’s the one who started me on hunting and fishing. He was a great guy,” said Hensley.
It was last year about this time Hensley, Archer and a few others took their annual fishing trip to Georgia. “We’d been doing that for 20 years. Bill didn’t do much fishing that trip, but he cooked. He loved to cook, and you were never hungry when Bill was around,” said Hensley.
Archer taught Hensley some baseball, too. “He umpired when I played Babe Ruth League. He’d put five or six of us on the back of the drag to weigh it down to drag the infield. Heck, we’d be so dusty, we’d have to run home and clean up again before we played,” said Hensley.
“I got to see him play baseball for the La Follette High School Owls. He also played at Cumberland College (University of the Cumberlands-Williamsburg). I saw him pitch for Cumberland. He was a pretty good pitcher,” said Hensley.
Archer had quite the memory. “He never missed an exit whether we were going fishing in Florida or on business to Nashville,” said Hensley.
“We did have a favorite fishing spot. It was off Heatherly’s Point down toward Rainbow. We’d lizard fish. Bill once had an old pontoon boat, and we caught a lot of fish off it,” said Hensley.
“He called me Friday morning from the hospital and said “let’s go fishing,” and I made it over there after lunch and was able to spend some time with him. Sure am glad I did,” said Hensley. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/28/2023-6AM)