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08/14/19 - NNHS Newsletter - Bill Haskins

William Franklin Haskins, Jr.,
(d. 12 Aug 2019)

Newport News High School Class of 1950

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,

   We have yet another sad edition of the NNHS Newsletter today.   Bill Haskins, Class of 1950, passed away in Newport News on Monday, August 12, 2019 at the age of 87.

From the Daily Press - 08/14/19:

                William (Bill) Franklin Haskins, Jr.
         NEWPORT NEWS - William (Bill) Franklin Haskins, Jr., 87, of Newport News, went to be with his savior, Jesus Christ, surrounded by family on August 12, 2019.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Mary Haskins, his wife, Lois Haskins and his brothers, Robert and Leslie. He is survived by his wife, Beverly Agnew Haskins and 5 sons, David (Kim), Chris (Theresa), Billy (Teresa) Haskins and Thad (Totty) and Bill (Karen) Shelly, as well as 14 grandchildren.

Bill, affectionately known as Bones, was a lifelong resident of Newport News and a graduate of Newport News High School and The Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School.

He served his country as an Army Paratrooper (82nd Airborne). He served the City of Newport News in various capacities for 24 years, as a City Councilman and a term as Vice Mayor. Bill was a member of various committees and boards, with a few of his favorites being the boards of Mary Immaculate Hospital and Riverside Regional Medical Center, as well as the Hampton Roads Transit Authority. He had a 43-year career with Newport News Shipbuilding where he began as an apprentice pipefitter and retired as the Manager of Marketing Research and Development in 1996.

Bill was an inspirational leader and faithful member of Northside Christian Church where he served as a Deacon and Elder for many years. He was a wonderful and devoted father, husband, and dear friend to many. His most precious legacy is his grandchildren, who he loved dearly, and was extremely proud of them all. He loved to talk about the shipyard, City of Newport News, the state of the country, and anything dealing with basketball.

Bill Haskins

In lieu of flowers, memorials may take the form of contributions to Northside Christian Church or Mary Immaculate Hospital.

Visitation will be held at Peninsula Funeral Home on Friday, August 16, 2019 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 17 at Northside Christian Church.

Arrangements are being made by Peninsula Funeral Home. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press on August 14, 2019.  
View Guest Book


August 13, 2019

What a blessing Bill was in my Christian walk. Praying for the entire family.

~ Barry and Anita Chenault, Newport News, Virginia

August 14, 2019

~ A Loved One

August 14, 2019

~ A Loved One

August 14, 2019

~ Jean Jones, Yorktown, Virginia

August 14, 2019
The Haskins family and our family were next door neighbors for about 38 years. Bones was a Christian gentleman and a wonderful neighbor. Our most sincere condolences to the family.

August 15, 2019
There are fond remembrances of Mr. Haskins, his an affable presence, over the years, at Newport News Shipbuilding.

I extend condolences to his family, and may the very breadth of his accomplishments afford you an abiding solace.

~ Charles Sullivan, Newport News, Virginia


August 28, 2019
So sorry for the passing of your father. He was a great man, and our family always had high regard for him. Hope you and your family are doing well.
God bless you all.

~ Janet (Willoughby) Isbell, Mooresville, North Carolina

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    Our deepest sympathies are extended to the Haskins family and their friends at this difficult time.

From the Daily Press - 04/29/08 - "10 QUESTIONS * WILLIAM HASKINS, JR.":

By Daily Press

After serving on the Newport News City Council for 22 years, 76-year-old William Haskins Jr. announced last year that he would not seek re-election.

At the periphery of the Civil Rights movement in the early 1970s, Haskins made his local mark as a vocal opponent of crosstown busing to achieve integration. He headed a group called Save Our Neighborhood Schools and backed a constitutional amendment to ban

forced busing based on race. Then often branded a racist, Haskins has said throughout his political career that race never played a role in his opposition to busing.

He was first elected to office in 1972. He served on the council until 1984 and was re-elected in 1998. Today, Haskins is better known for his vigorous focus on fiscal responsibility at City Hall. Most recently, he lobbied for 2.5 percent pay raises for city and school employees - down from the 3 percent and 4 percent in the city's proposed 2009 budget - to save money to finance a tax-rate cut for homeowners.

Q: You grew up in what was then called North Newport News below Mercury Boulevard. What or who influenced you during your childhood?

A: Church formulated my life and my values. My Sunday school teacher, Mr. Allen, who owned a jewelry store between 28th and Washington Avenue, taught me a lot. He was very passionate. He loved us and taught us to be truthful. Serving in the Army and in Korea, I also learned a lot about life. I always thought about how we saved the Korean Peninsula and how we Americans saved Europe. We put our heart and soul in it. We did not just conquer, we defended our values and our way of life.

Q: Why did you run for public office in 1972?

A: I was opposed to busing. I thought it violated the freedom of every American. A lot of people asked me to run. Our children went to neighborhood schools and the court order said I have to send my boy to the other end of the city. There wasn't a racial undercurrent. It just very adversely affected how we participated in the education of our children. It took away our right to chose our schools. I was instrumental in a petition to put neighborhood schools back. I even today strongly believe the school system should return to neighborhood schools.

Q: How did you and Vice Mayor Charles Allen work together on the council, two people who came from different spectrums of life?

A: Everybody thought we would clash. But I have a lot of respect for the vice mayor. We have very similar beginnings. He experienced racial discrimination. I experienced what I call wealth discrimination. My mother raised three boys. I was 16 when my father died. In my family we all had to work. Because of my firm belief against busing I was looked at like a racist, but I have shown people that I am fair and reasonable. I look at the vice mayor as a close friend. His ability as a planner is unsurpassed. There were no racial tensions on the council.

Q: How much has Newport News changed throughout the years?

A: If I made a mistake on 49th street, my mother found out about it very shortly. Newport News is a big city today with all its urban problems. I don't have to go through a metal detector when I attend my grandchildren's football game in Poquoson.

Q: You served 12 years in your first term, from 1972 to 1984. Why did you not run again, and what made the second term different?

A: I had to make a decision. I was married and raised children and worked. There is only so much you can take on. During my second term obviously I knew and understood more. When I first came on the council, I knew absolutely nothing about government except what I learned in school. For example busing. That was foolish, it was a federal court order and there was not much City Council could do. But it was a lack of knowledge on my part.

Q: The city faces some financial challenges. What are they and why are you supporting so strongly the controversial and costly King William Reservoir?

A: In Newport News, there are a lot of retired folks. The cost of living increased, property values increased, but my pension from the shipyard never increased. Not 1 percent and there are a lot of people like me.

When I first got elected, the city manager at the time, Joe Biggins, who bought Newport News Waterworks in 1936, gave me one piece of advice. He pulled me aside and said, "Billy, don't mess with Waterworks. It will provide water for the entire Virginia Peninsula." And he was right. We have here an opportunity to provide the Peninsula with water to 2080. We are not destroying the environment. We are giving them more wetland than required. All the technical studies I read say that it will be OK. Desalination - we know that it costs a lot of money. Waterworks is our biggest asset. We could sell Waterworks, form a commission, have the cities and counties that get water from Waterworks run it, and Newport News could pay off its entire debt.

Q: What were some of the city's other successes under your leadership?

A: Oyster Point. We invested $25 million, and today it's worth $584 million. Tell me this was not a good investment. And City Center in the long run will also pay off for us. Just right now we have an economic downturn. And it's costing us. We get a lot of complaints about City Center, but it will pay off.

Q: What were some of your disappointments?

A: I am very disappointed about the state of Virginia. They continue not to live up to their responsibilities. They don't sufficiently fund education and transportation, for example. It's just so frustrating to me.

Q: What will you do once you retire?

A: Play more golf and commute between Richmond, Ohio and Florida to enjoy our grandchildren more.

Q: What advice would you give to your successor?

A: Follow the dollar and understand where it's all being spent. Sometimes it's hard to follow who is doing what. I think we need to do things simpler for people to understand things better. When I vote, I always look at the facts and vote with my heart. That's what I did during the entire 22 years.


* Age: 76

* Family: Widowed; remarried in 2003; three sons and 14 grandchildren

* Childhood: Grew up between 44th and 50th streets and Huntington and Washington avenues, the youngest among three brothers

* Education: Graduated in 1950 from Newport News High School; graduated from Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School

* Military: Was drafted in 1956 and served two years in the U.S. Army

* Elected offices: City Council member since 1998; also served on City Council from 1972 and 1984

* Occupation: Started as a pipe fitter at the shipyard and retired from the shipyard after 43 years as manager of marketing and research development

* Parents: Both born in North Carolina; mother a sales clerk and father worked in several professions, including ticket-taker at the Norfolk Ferry in downtown Newport News

* Hobbies: Golfing, golfing and golfing

   Y'all take good care of each other! TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

Lead On, O King Eternal

Words by Ernest W. Shurtleff (04 Apr 1862 - 24 Aug 1917), 1888
Music (Lancashire) by Henry T. Smart (26 Oct 1813 - 06 July 1879), 1836

Shurtleff wrote this hymn wrote this hymn for the graduation ceremony at Andover Theological Seminary, where he was a member of the class of 1888.

 Lead on, O King eternal,
The day of march has come;
Henceforth in fields of conquest
Thy tents shall be our home:
Through days of preparation
Thy grace has made us strong,
And now, O King eternal,
We lift our battle song.

Lead on, O King eternal,
Till sin's fierce war shall cease,
And Holiness shall whisper
The sweet amen of peace;
For not with swords loud clashing,
Nor roll of stirring drums,
But deeds of love and mercy,
The heav'nly kingdom comes.

Lead on, O King eternal,
We follow, not with fears;
For gladness breaks like morning
Where'er thy face appears;
Thy cross is lifted o'er us;
We journey in its light:
The crown awaits the conquest;
Lead on, O God of might.

"Lead On, O King Eternal" midi and lyrics courtesy of - 12/07/07

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of 01/27/05

Animated Army Flag clip art courtesy of - 06/18/03

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

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