William T. ‘Bill’ Doremus

William T. ‘Bill’ DoremusWilliam Thomas “Bill” Doremus, age 81, passed away at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital on June 11, 2018, having suffered a stroke a few days earlier.

Bill was born Aug. 10, 1936, in Chattanooga, Tenn. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy seven days after his 18th birthday. Bill served his country with distinction for 20 years advancing from Seaman Recruit to Senior Chief Petty Officer. During his service he received numerous awards and decorations including two Vietnam Service Medals, Vietnam Campaign Medal with device, Vietnam Commendation — Gallantry Cross, two Navy Unit Commendations, National Defense Service Medal and five Good Conduct Medals.

Bill’s overseas tours included time on USS Jupiter (1960s), USS Coral Sea (1970s), and an eight-month deployment in 1965 on USS Midway where Attack Carrier Air Wing Two carried out over 11,900 combat sorties. Additionally, the Midway-based aircraft succeeded in destroying the first MiG interceptors to be credited to the U.S. forces in Southeast Asia.

After his honorable discharge from active-duty military Bill began a second career working at the Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake. One of his favorite assignments was during the 1980s where he worked at the highly classified Joint Advanced Weapons Countermeasure Office (JAWCO). He routinely interacted with people in each of the military services, as well as defense contractors and Washington bureaucrats.

He was repeatedly recognized by senior military and contractor personnel alike as one of the most knowledgeable logistic experts in the business.

Bill was also a family man. He married Joyce Bernice Newport on November 3, 1954. They were married 30 years until cancer claimed Joyce’s life in 1984.

They had four children, Starr, Bill Jr., Martha and Crystal. For Bill, fatherhood was synonymous with provider, and he often worked two jobs. For a time, he was the manager at the Station Theater and later the assistant manager at the Chief Petty Officers Club, where he was known to call Bingo.

He also was the assistant bar manager and chief cook and bottle washer for the Elks Lodge, where he was a member for 61 years.

Bill was an avid fisherman especially loving his trips to Alaska and Mexico. He enjoyed cooking, baking, country music and dancing at the Crystal Palace. And nothing made Bill happier than entertaining his friends and keeping up on the latest happenings with his grandkids and great-grandkids. He will always be remembered for his generosity and quick wit.

Bill is survived by his daughter Starr and son-in-law Dennis Henden, son Bill Jr. and daughter-in-law Carol Doremus, daughter Martha and son-in-law Joseph Jordan, daughter Crystal and son-in-law Dennis Holder, as well as 20 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and six great great grandchildren.

A viewing will be held at the H.K. Holland Memorial Chapel on Friday, June 22, from 5-8 p.m.

There will be a Celebration of Life Service at Desert Christian Community Center on Saturday, June 23, at 10 a.m. A graveside service will follow at Desert Memorial Park, with a reception immediately following at the American Legion Hall.

— Submitted by the family of William Doremus

Story First Published: 2018-06-22