John L. Hall came from an interesting family in the mountains of North Carolina.

"He was baptized in a river in North Carolina by a Baptist preacher uncle. His other uncle was a moonshiner," Mr. Hall's daughter Bonnie recalled.

"I think he was in his 20s when he went down there to visit with his relatives," and was baptized, she said.

The uncles were brothers to Mr. Hall's father, who, she said, "had been a sheriff in North Carolina."

Mr. Hall's sheriff father, she said, "shot and killed a man in self-defense, was put on trial and acquitted. And after that, he came North."

Only after the family was safely settled in Chester County was Mr. Hall born.

On Wednesday, May 19, Mr. Hall, 91, former president of the Chester County Federal Savings & Loan, died of skin cancer at his home in West Chester.

In 1978, the West Chester Business and Professional Association named him its Business Person of the Year.

Born in West Chester, Mr. Hall graduated from West Chester High School in 1936, after playing two seasons as a halfback on the varsity football team.

When the nation entered World War II, he was rejected by the Marines because, his daughter said, "he had broken a wrist bone playing football that was never corrected."

But in 1944, after an operation on that wrist, he was accepted by the Navy and worked as a weather forecaster on a heavy cruiser.

In 1949, Mr. Hall graduated from an accelerated program at Temple University with a bachelor's degree in business and joined the Chester County Building & Loan.

In 1965, his daughter said, he was appointed president of that firm, which had become the Chester County Federal Savings & Loan. He later became its board chairman.

In the 1970s, she said, he was a director of the Federal Savings & Loan Group of Suburban Philadelphia as well as a director of the Pennsylvania Savings & Loan League.

In 1980, Mr. Hall became board chairman of the Commonwealth Federal Savings & Loan in Norristown, and after retiring in 1985, he opened a West Chester real estate office.

Mr. Hall was a director of both the Chester County Historical Society and the West Chester YMCA and an elder of the Dilworthtown Presbyterian Church.

"He had no formal training in fine art," his daughter said, "but he developed a great interest in it."

And that led to his "sponsoring art shows within his bank buildings."

His daughter said that, at home, he "owned an N.C. Wyeth, a Jamie Wyeth," and "had quite a collection of Barclay Rubincam," a West Chester artist known for his paintings of the Battle of the Brandywine.

Besides daughter Bonnie, Mr. Hall is survived by his son, John L. Jr.; a daughter, Joanne Boyer; and four grandchildren. His first wife, of 40 years, Marion, died in 1985. His second wife, of 18 years, Joyce, died in 2006. He was preceded in death by three brothers and two sisters.

On Saturday, May 22, his 92d birthday, private services were held.

Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.