Longtime newspaperman, WNJ photographer Bob McNemar 99 years young

By Don McNemar


Robert A. McNemar celebrated his 99th birthday with family and friends at the Wilmington Friends Meeting on Feb. 14, 2016.

Bob has been an active member and contributor to the Wilmington community throughout his life. He served on the editorial staff of the News Journal from 1941-1957.

He began his association with the News Journal as a substitute carrier when he was 11 years old. Through school he carried papers, helped in the mail room, worked as a “printer’s devil” in the composing room, and began writing stories his junior and senior years in high school.

Bob graduated from Wilmington College in 1941. He worked for the paper and the college writing stories to earn his way through college.

Bob spent 13 years, 1957-1970, as editor of the Xenia Daily Gazette. The next 13 years he worked in Kentucky. He was editor of the Danville, Ky. Advocate-Messenger for 10 years, and then helped start The Montgomery News weekly newspaper in Mt. Sterling, KY until his retirement in 1983.

Upon retirement Bob and his wife Kathryn Hunt McNemar moved back to Wilmington to the house where he was born on Feb. 16, 1917. Bob became active in the Wilmington Friends Meeting and Wilmington Yearly Meeting. Bob was Recording Clerk of Wilmington Yearly Meeting for several years. He also researched and wrote the 100 Year History of Wilmington Yearly Meeting for their Centennial Observance.

He was active on the Quaker Knoll Camp Board, and was honored in 2005 by the Yearly Meeting with the presentation of a bench for the Camp in gratitude for his service to the camp.

Over the years Bob was involved in many community activities. He was active in the Wilmington Rotary Club and had 14 years of perfect attendance. An Eagle Scout himself, Bob served as a Cub Scout Packmaster and as an advisor for the 4-H rabbit club. His diverse contributions to the Wilmington community were recognized when he received the first Distinguished Service Award from the Wilmington Jaycees in 1948.

During Bob’s years at the Wilmington News Journal he took photographs of many Clinton County events, fairs, and dignitaries. He has donated his collection of photographs to the Clinton County Historical Society where they are available as a pictorial history of the county.

Family members who joined the members of Wilmington Friends Meeting in celebrating Bob’s 99th Birthday were his son, Don and daughter in law, Britta, from Boston MA and Bob’s daughter in law, Edna McNemar, widow of Jim McNemar, and granddaughters Cynthia McNemar and Christina Moats from New Windsor, MD.


By Don McNemar