In Memory

Bryan Edward Hemphill - Class Of 1953

Bryan Edward Hemphill

Bryan Edward Hemphill
1935 - 2008

Long time Newport Beach resident Bryan Hemphill passed away on June 20, 2008. Bryan grew up in San Marino, attended Polytechnic School, South Pasadena High School and the University of Southern California. In 1964 he married Mary Ann Gilbert, a UCLA graduate, on the day of the USC-UCLA football game. Thus, he never forgot their anniversary.

Bryan was the consummate businessman, loving the retail business. He owned Hemphill's Shoes, which expanded from its original Alhambra location to Costa Mesa in 1958. In 1970 the Costa Mesa store moved to Fashion Island. During his many years in retail, Bryan loved talking with his customers and sales reps. He was known for his daily walks through Fashion Island, discussing the state of business with the many other independent retailers. He sold Hemphill's Shoes in 1989, and he and Mary Ann moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, that same year. After six years in Virginia, the Hemphills decided it was time to "come home." After a brief return to the shoe business, Bryan switched to a new retail field, working with his son, Brett, at Hemphill's Rugs and Carpets in Costa Mesa. Bryan loved golf and was a long-time member of San Gabriel Country Club.

The Hemphills were great travelers. They visited 47 countries and took more than 50 cruises. In recent years they celebrated anniversaries and birthdays at the Halekulani in Waikiki and made three trips to Italy. Breaking away from the retail business, Bryan helped Mary Ann, a freelance travel writer, in research and photography during their travels. During a private family memorial service, Bryan's son Gregg said, "Dad set a moral compass, through which he will live on. Brett and I will pass that along to our sons." In addition to his wife Mary Ann, Bryan is survived by son Brett and his wife, Cherie, and their two sons, Pierce and Will; and by son Gregg and his wife, Amy, and their two sons, Jack and Ben. The most oft-heard description of Bryan following his death was, "He was just such a great guy."