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Bill Moyer, a county leader in a time of change, dies

William Llewelyn "Bill" Moyer, who chaired the Board of Commissioners as Henderson County transitioned into an era of stricter zoning and later helped thwart a back-channel effort to sell Pardee Hospital, died on Saturday at Duke Medical Center at age 80.

A native of Pennsylvania, Moyer had already completed a successful career as a partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Dechert, Price & Rhoads, practicing corporate, securities and utility law, and as CEO of a public telecommunications company, when he moved to Henderson County in 1990. He plunged into community affairs and served on numerous civic and charitable boards, then ran for the Board of Commissioners in 1998. He went on to serve for three terms — and as chair in 2001-02 and from 2005 to 2010 — before losing a close Republican primary race for re-election in 2010 to Michael Edney.

During his time on the Board of Commissioners, Moyer led efforts to impose countywide zoning, a change that some landowners had resisted for years. As chair, Moyer could often be counted on to push through more progressive changes in the county, despite opposition. After counting his votes, he bulled ahead, several times prevailing with the 3Ms — Moyer plus reliable allies Chuck McGrady and Charlie Messer.

As chair of the board, Moyer pushed through long-range borrowing plans that paid for renovation of the Historic Courthouse, the new Human Services building on Spartanburg Highway and other capital projects. He also led a strong response by the Board of Commissioners to a behind-the-scenes effort to sell Pardee Hospital, which two commissioners had cooked up. Instead, the board in 2010 made a public statement declaring that the county-owned hospital was not for sale.

In the past eight years, Moyer had received numerous honors, including a top Chamber of Commerce award. He and his wife, Dot, were honored as the Pardee Hospital Philanthropists of the Year in 2016. After his election defeat, Moyer chaired the Pardee Board of Directors for three years.

He died after a short illness around 7 o'clock Saturday night, surrounded by his six children. In addition to his wife, Dot, whom he married in 1984, Moyer is survived by daughters Christine Furay, of Port St. Lucie, Florida; Lynn Marks, of Hendersonville; Marti Moyer, of Pennsylvania; and Erin Moyer, of Atlanta; sons Michael Moyer, of Sacramento, California; and Will Moyer, of Hendersonville; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.