William Barry Dykema

William Barry “Bill” Dykema, 79, died in his home in Ridgecrest, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. He was receiving hospice care after battling cancer.

Bill was born in Oak Park, Ill., on Dec. 27, 1940, to William T. and Connie Dykema. His family relocated when he was very young, and Bill was raised in Appleton, Wis.. He was the first in his family to attend college, earning a degree in Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

After completing his education, he headed west, starting off as a junior professional as what was then known as China Lake Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS). After a few years he took a job with Honeywell in Minneapolis. There, through mutual social contacts, he met Rosemary Dukart, and Bill and Rosemary married in 1968. They returned to California, where they settled and started a family.

Bill spent his entire career as a federal civil servant. For the majority of his decades of service, his focus was the software for the Navy’s A-6 aircraft. His colleagues remember his willingness to listen, offer advice, and share his knowledge.

Bill was a dedicated family man, a professional sports fan, and an exercise enthusiast, who loved the familiarity and community of the Indian Wells Valley. We remember Bill’s dry and irreverent sense of humor, his attention to detail around tasks large and small, and his enthusiasm for evening family walks, watching different neighborhoods rise from the desert in the 1980s. Bill especially enjoyed the Mammoth Lakes area, and became increasingly concerned about his carbon footprint in recent years. He delighted in videos, photos, artwork, and visits from his grandson Theo, always bringing Bill a joyful mood.

Bill is survived by his wife Rosemary, his brother Scott, his sister Lori, his son John, and his grandson Theo. The family will hold a celebration of his life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to a charity of your choice.

— Submitted by the family of William Dykema

Story First Published: 2020-10-30