Dr. William Robert McBride

Dr. William Robert McBrideLong time Ridgecrest and recent Orange County resident Dr. William Robert McBride passed away on Sept. 11, 2018.

Visitation will be 4–7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28, and a Celebration of Life service will take place at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29, at the H.K. Holland Memorial Chapel, 216 S. Norma St. Ridgecrest, followed by a graveside service where he will be laid to rest next to his wife at Desert Memorial Park.

Bill was born May 9, 1928, in Topeka, Kans. He was the second son of John S. and Edith M. McBride and the younger brother of John M. McBride. Bill moved several times with his family from Topeka to Winfield, to Leavenworth, to Atchison, back to Topeka and one year in Salina before moving to Glendale, Calif., in 1944.

After high school graduation from Hoover High in Glendale, Bill spent two years studying chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. He transferred to UC?Los Angeles, from which he graduated in 1950 with the degree of bachelor of acience with a major in xhemistry. Bill joined his parents at China Lake where his father (for whom McBride Park was named) worked.

From February 1950 until September 1951, Bill was employed by the Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake, as a chemist in the Chemistry Division, Research Department. During the summers of 1948, 1949 and 1952 he was also employed in the same capacity.

From 1951 through 1954, Bill pursued and obtained a PhD in inorganic chemistry from the University of Texas, Austin. He was a teaching assistant in chemistry and was awarded the Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation Fellowship for the academic year 1954-55. Bill met his wife, Mary Lee Fleming, at a square dance, and they married on Dec. 20, 1952. In 1955 they moved to China Lake, where Bill pursued his career as a research chemist.

Bill was active with the Indian Wells Valley Gem and Mineral Society and proud of his National Trophy for Thumbnail Minerals. He served on the board of the AltaOne Federal Credit Union for 23 years, was involved at the Maturango Museum and was active with the Protestant Congregation of the All Faith Chapel. He supported and encouraged all the various activities of his children and grandchildren and frequently traveled to visit them.

Bill McBride passed to his children, without many words, the Christian faith that he knew was important and true and forever. He stewarded his considerable intellect and abilities with quietness and reserve. By living his faith, he gained the respect of others.

He is survived by his daughter Becky Keller and husband Bruno of Waxhaw, N.C.; son Bob and wife Linda of Irvine; son James and wife Joan of Santa Ana; and grandchildren Miriam Keller LaVeck and husband Dan, Philip Keller and wife Whitney, Kevin Keller and Katia Keller, Mindy McBride Hockaday and husband Devon, Lisa McBride Gallaher and husband Stephen, Austin McBride and Cameron McBride; and great-grandsons Garrett Hockaday, Benjamin Gallaher and Simon LaVeck. He was preceded in death by Mary Lee, his wife of 57 years.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wycliffe Bible Translators, World Vision or the Maturango Museum.

— Submitted by the family of William McBride

Story First Published: 2018-09-28