William Fitzgerald

William FitzgeraldWilliam “Bill” Clare Fitzgerald of Ridgecrest finished his last adventure and went home to his heavenly Father June 28, 2019. He was 86.

Bill was a meticulous physicist and dedicated husband who raised four children with the integrity and zeal of a Boy Scout leader. Bill was born in Hutchinson, Kansas on January 6, 1933 to Lawrence and Gertrude Fitzgerald. Bill was the middle of five siblings — Jim, Bob, Mary and Joe. The family moved to Oakland when Bill was 10 where he attended St. Mary’s High School in Berkley and St. Mary’s College in Moraga, graduating Cum Laud with a B.S. in Physics in 1956. Bill moved to China Lake in 1956, the day after graduating college, where he worked for the US Navy as an optical physicist, notably on the Sidewinder Missile guidance system. Bill retired from Michelson Lab in 1988.

Bill married Anna Hoyem on September 16, 1967. They have four children – Brenna, Brian, Karen and Kelly. Bill led his family on many expeditions to national parks, where they arose early from a night of camping to enjoy morning ranger hikes, and family vacations to Southern California beaches and amusement parks. Bill was the tour guide, naturalist, campfire song leader, story teller, tailgate picnic server, orange peeler, boat captain, and above all, an incredible example of what a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and uncle should be.

Bill was a devout Catholic, a beloved child of God, and together with his wife Anna had been very involved in the St. Ann Parish since the early 1970s. His children all attended St. Ann School.

Bill was very involved in the Boy Scouts of America, achieving Eagle Scout in 1952. While in China Lake-Ridgecrest, Bill was involved with Troop 35, serving as Scout Master from 1962-65 and continuing to work with the troop into the 1990s.

Bill is survived by his wife Anna, his four children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, his brother Joe and numerous nieces and nephews.

A viewing will be held Friday, July 19, from 4-7 p.m. at Holland & Lyons Chapel. Rosary will begin at 5:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 20, at 10 a.m. at St. Ann. Graveside services will follow at 11:45 a.m. at Desert Memorial Park. A celebration of life will be held at 12:30 p.m. in the St. Ann Perish Hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate you making a donation to St. Ann School.

— Submitted by the family of Bill Fitzgerald

Story First Published: 2019-07-19