Bill Cammack Bio

bill-cammackI was born in Racine, Wisconsin where my family lived until I was 3 years old. My father took a job transfer to Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Rapids was a great place to grow up and to try to stay out of trouble. Summers were the greatest. We swam, rafted, boated, fished, camped and hiked. It was tremendous. Of course there was school, but there was always the countdown to next summer.

During high school I played clarinet and saxophone in the school band. In addition, I figured out that I could make a little money by playing in bands outside of school. I joined the AF of M and played in polka bands, rock and roll bands and Dixieland bands. My time in a Dixieland band was the highlight of my short music career.

After high school, I attended UW Stevens Point where I majored in upper elementary education. I studied there from 1962 to 1965. This was during the Viet Nam War era when everyone dreaded losing their student status. There was no way I wanted to get drafted, so, as a senior, I made the decision to stay ahead of the draft by enlisting in the U.S. Navy.

December 1965 found me at RTC Great Lakes. Take it from me, winter is not the best time to be a recruit. We were just like the post office. Neither wind, sleet nor snow stopped us from marching and training.

After recruit training and an additional 10 weeks at “A” school, I received orders to report to Naval Investigative Service, Arlington, Virginia. I can assure you, the intelligence community is not quite what NCIS portrays it as.

While I was serving at NISHQ in Virginia, I married Barbara in 1966. Finally, I made an intelligent choice!! This October we will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We lived in Arlington for three years, had our first child, Heather, in 1968 and came to the end of our tour. My plan was to leave the Navy after my four year enlistment and return to get my BA so I could become a teacher. That meant I would have to go to sea for a year and Barb would have to be on her own with a small baby. She was not too happy until the day my Chief called her with a proposition. If she could talk me in to reenlisting I wouldn’t go to sea without her, but we go together for a three year tour at Naval Investigative Service, Honolulu, Hawaii. I lost the argument, but won a dream assignment in paradise.

During our assignment in Hawaii, daughter number two, Holly, was born in 1970. We had an awesome three year tour in Hawaii, but all good things must come to an end. It was decision time. Either I reenlist for a new four year term or I take the offer to become a State Farm Agent in Chicago, Illinois. It was a hard decision because it took out the option of returning to school for my degree, but both of the other options were time sensitive. I opted for moving to Chicago and taking a career as an agent for State Farm Insurance. This turned out to be my second intelligent choice.

I started with State Farm on January 1, 1972 and retired June 30, 2008. It was a great 36 years!! Over the years I won many trips to cities all over the world. My children accompanied Barb and I on many of the trips. To be able to help clients with their insurance needs, help them when they had a claim and be there for them when there was a death in the family was a wonderful and rewarding experience.

In 2008 I retired and Barb and I moved to our newly constructed retirement home in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. What a great area…fishing, sailing, swimming, hiking were among some of the daily activities that we enjoyed in the summer. In the winter we cross country skied and played out in the snow. Unfortunately, Egg Harbor is a summer destination. In the winter all of our neighbors left us for warmer climes. That left us with no one to talk to, no shops to shop in, harsh cold weather and the obvious question WHY ARE WE HERE!!

It took us until 2012 to decide to move to The Villages. We had vacationed here twice for a month at a time. After the second visit we really appreciated what was available here. All the activities, pleasant climate and last, but not least, people to interact with. We were sold and still are!

Barb and I like to walk, bicycle and play golf. I would really enjoy fishing again, but I just haven’t found the time to get back to it here.

What do I miss about Wisconsin? Perch!! People here don’t even know what a perch is. Other than that, I miss friends and family, but we can go visit when the temperatures are comfortable and the roads are passable.