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Forever remember & respected. Thank you for all the childhood memories growing up at your house in Sutton, and I’ll never forget your phone call while I was in boot camp for the Air Force.
I remember Bill at Sutton High School. We rode the same bus and although he was a few years ahead of me he was still a friendly fella. We shared some baseball through those years, I completely lost track of him after high school and I am glad to see he has done extremely well. R.I.P. Bill
I worked for Mr. Jernberg in the 1990's at The Jernberg Corporation and remember him fondly. He was such a nice person and I am saddened to learn of his passing.
Willard "Bill" Jernberg
CDR Willard Ralph Jernberg USN (Ret) and Founder and CEO of The Jernberg Corporation, of Sutton, MA, Wolfeboro, NH and the many ports of call of “THIRD CAREER” and NAVYTWO was surrounded in love by his family and devoted Golden Retrievers, as he passed peacefully into the arms of his Lord Jesus Christ on September 27, 2022.
Bill was born on Christmas day 1938 in Worcester, MA to Ralph and Lillian Jernberg. He came from very humble beginnings in Quinsig Village, the Swedish part of Worcester in a two decker off Greenwood St. behind Mann’s bakery. Bill’s father and Uncle owned A & J trucking company but lost it due to the Depression before Bill was born. Even though his Dad graduated from Mass Maritime Academy with a ship’s license…Ralph went to work in a Mill to support his family until he retired. In fourth grade Bill’s family moved to the “Camp” on Lake Singletary in Sutton, MA which his mother inherited from her father. “Fat Billy” as he referred to himself, attended Sutton High School and his senior class had 22 students, 11 boys and 11 girls. He played football, basketball and loved singing in the Glee Club. But his badge of honor from Sutton HS was that he was elected Class President Sophomore, Junior and Senior year.
Bill’s love of the sea came from his Dad and inspired him to seek an appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. As fate would have it, the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY offered him a nomination and Bill accepted an appointment to Kings Point Class of 1960. He told everyone he met… “It was one of the best decisions of my life… next to marrying Carol”. Bill barely survived his Plebe year but like many things he did in his life, with his quiet faith and strong determination, he set his mind to achieve it and he did.
The summer prior to his First Class year Bill was selected to go to West Point to bring their Honor Code back to Kings Point. As a result, he served as the First Judge of the USMMA Honor Board. His legacy still remains an important part of Kings Point today. Also prior to his First Class year Bill was selected as Commander of Third Company (The Regiment only has 6) and he was also tapped as an Honor Guard to accompany First Lady Mamie Eisenhower when she christened the NS Savannah in 1959. It was a befitting beginning to a life and career that would be built on a foundation of faith in God, high moral standards and love of country.
Bill graduated in 1960 and took a commission in the United States Navy as Chief Engineer on the USS Somersworth, a Naval Undersea Sound Warfare Ship. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he was stationed in Key West and his boats did retrieval missions in the waters off Cuba. The Navy took him to many foreign shores including Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. There his command was part of the River Patrol Task Force known as the Brown Water Navy on the Delta. His PBR’s transported the Navy Seals or UDT’s as they were known then and patrolled the waters of the Delta keeping them safe after the 1968 Tet Offensive. He was awarded THE NAVY COMMENDATION MEDAL for exemplary service during his two combat-tours in Vietnam.
After Vietnam, Bill returned stateside where he was stationed at the Pentagon working directly under Admiral Zumwalt. The Admiral personally selected him and two others to co-create and establish the First Drug and Alcohol Program for the Navy and Marine Corps. Bill traveled all over the world setting up treatment centers. SARP, as it is known today, is still in operation as an invaluable program to the Navy, rehabilitating thousands of lives and careers of military men and women each year. The program, he co-authored, (OPNAV Inst. 6330.1), was so successful that in 1977, President Jimmy Carter awarded him THE MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL for his total dedication and achievement above and beyond the mission.
After a 26 year career as a decorated Naval Officer, Bill parlayed his achievements and his entrepreneurial spirit into a revered second career…The Jernberg Corporation…. A Human Resource Management Firm that specialized in managed mental health care. It was a pioneer in the EAP field, the first EAP to establish a 1-800 number and one of the most successful Employee Assistance Programs in North America, improving and often saving countless lives of employees and their families. At its peak it served over 3500 client organizations including NFL teams, Airlines, Unions, Insurance Companies, Hotels, Colleges and Universities and several hundred thousand employees, as well as family members of well-known celebrities and political figures. Bill’s passion to help people made The Jernberg Corp a pillar in the EAP industry.
Bill sold The Jernberg Corporation in 1996 and his love of the sea and passion for Tuna and Shark fishing propelled him into his final career… “THIRD CAREER” as it was aptly named, was a 55 FT Ocean Yacht’s Sport-Fishing boat. He and Carol fished up and down the East Coast for 8 years stopping in ports-of-call of Sandwich MA, Newport RI, Atlantic City, Cape May, Norfolk, the Outer Banks, Hilton Head and the Bahamas always bringing family along whenever possible and making and entertaining life-long friends in every port.
Bill lit up a room with his charismatic larger-than-life personality and his unmatched imagination and sense of humor. He wore his heart of gold on his sleeve and sometimes his unfiltered fervor required Carol’s temperance. He felt passionately about making people happy especially his family and friends. He loved spending time with his sons, teaching them when they were young and later on waterskiing, fishing, skiing or just hanging out with their families. His grandchildren were his priceless treasures and any moments with them were cherished gifts. He adored his MA nephews and their families and the grandnephews who called him “Grampa” Uncle Bill. “THIRD CAREER” outings created many memories for his NC nieces and nephew and when he took up golf he became a source of entertainment at every golf outing with his beloved KP “60 classmates. When he and Carol moved to Wolfeboro their Christmas parties became an instant tradition and his gregarious enthusiasm made him a standout driving the Half-Track for the Wright Museum every year in the Wolfeboro 4th of July parade. He is remembered fondly driving around Wolfeboro in his black Tahoe with NAVYONE plates and his two Golden’s, Tugboat and Annie, with their heads out the window. His unlimited energy was contagious and even in his later years, his joie de vivre had he, Carol and puppies travelling in NAVYTWO from NH to FL.
Despite all of his achievements, Bill always remained humble preferring to contribute anonymously to the causes he felt passionately about and to be of service to others in whatever capacity possible, while never seeking reward or recognition for his generosity.
At the request of former CNO Admiral Zumwalt and former Treasury Secretary William Simon under President Nixon, Bill got actively involved in the Washington based Committee for Responsive Health Care. He was also involved locally in Sutton government, finance and school committees and nationally with trade organizations like Association of Labor-Management Administrators and Consultants on Alcoholism, always advocating for truth and justice.
In 2000 he was honored by the United States Merchant Marine Academy with THE OUTSTANDING PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for exemplifying the finest tradition of the Corps and lending honor and prestige to the Academy. USMMA Superintendent VADM Joe Stewart selected him to be a Trustee on his advisory board, Superintendent’s Council, on which he remained until VADM Stewart’s retirement. He was a Trustee on the USMMA Sailing Foundation for many years and Chairman for 2 years. In 2000, the Secretary of the Navy invited Bill to the Current Strategy Forum on National Defense at the Naval War College in Newport where Bill had taught Officer Candidates many years previous. He served as a Regional VP for the Naval War College Foundation for 10 years. And one of his greatest joys was being asked by Senator John Sununu then Senator Kelly Ayotte to serve on their Service Academy Selection Boards for over 10 years. High School seniors seeking a nomination to West Point, The Naval Academy, USMMA or The Air Force Academy, go through an interview and nomination process. The Senator at the recommendation of the selection board nominates the students to one of the four Service Academies. Bill’s last three Midshipmen who were nominated and attended USMMA, graduated in 2019 and have made him very proud with their successful careers. Even with all his achievements and numerous awards, Bill still considers his greatest achievement and source of most pride to be his four sons…Terry, Todd, Erik and Chad.
Bill is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 18 years and first mate for 27, Carol; his former wife Jean; their children and grandchildren: Todd; Terry (Linda), Danny, Cory and Kristen; his former wife Pamela; their children and grandchildren: Erik; Nyah and Eben; Chad (Ria), Aviana and Milana: his cherished two nephews, their wives; four grandnephews and grandniece: Bruce (Donna) Edwards, their children Patrick and Willem; Scott (Susan) Edwards, their children Mathew, Nicholas and Allison; as well as his beloved “sister” Barbara Edwards Concaugh. And on Carol’s side: his cherished nieces Ashley Griffin, Kelly Griffin and nephew TJ Griffin. He is also survived by his adored Golden Retrievers, Abbey and Allie. He was predeceased by his father Ralph (1970), his mother Lillian (1989), his sister Janice (1995) and her husband Phil Edwards (2009) and his precious Golden Retrievers Tugboat (2017) and Annie (2018).
Bill will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a date still to be determined. Details will follow. There will also be a Celebration of Bill’s Life on November 12, 2022 at 11AM at the First Congregational Church in Sutton, MA with a Luncheon immediately following at the Pleasant Valley Country Club, Sutton MA. If you wish to attend please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
In lieu of flowers, please consider a tax-deductible donation to the US Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association and Foundation in memory of Bill Jernberg Class of 1960. Please make your check payable to “USMMA AAF” (Tax ID # 11-6037948) with “Bill Jernberg Class of 1960” written in the memo/note section. Either mail to: USMMA Alumni, 300 Steamboat Road, Kings Point, NY 11024 or you can make a donation online at www.usmmaalumni.com/donate