William DeCinces

Obituary
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William Dominic DeCinces June 27, 1928 - February 10, 2012 Bill DeCinces passed away on February 10, 2012, from complications of Parkinson's Disease in Tarzana, California. He was 84. For the last few years he was comforted by his dearly beloved friend Lora Salmon. He was born on June 27, 1928, in the Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles. His mother was Dorothy Byne and his father was Dominic. He had three brothers: Ted, Joe, & Jim, and a sister Mary Roberts. He is survived by his daughter Mary Collins of Green Valley, Arizona and a son Richard of Camarillo, CA.; three grandchildren Michelle, Michael, and Jon & two great grandchildren - Morgan and Ryan. Bill married his High School sweetheart Lynn Dickey on January 1, 1950, and they remained together for 54 years until Lynn passed away in 2004. Bill's father worked for Universal Studios in the still lab, and Bill followed in his footsteps, starting at the studio at the age of 16. The same year he got his pilot's license. He started as a laborer digging ditches, then moved on to the grip department, from there to set lighting, and eventually settled in the art department, as an asst. art director, art director, and head of the art department. As an asst. art director he worked on 336 TV episodes, such as Mickey Spillane, Ford Theatre, Shot Gun Slade, Whispering Smith, Thriller, M Squad, Ironside, Alcoa Theatre, Laramie, The Virginian, Wagon Train, McHale's Navy, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The General Electric Theatre with Ronald Reagan, and many more. As an art director he continued to work on most of those television shows and went on to do over 20 feature films. In the mid sixties he became the head of the art department. During this period he obtained his license as an architect (without a degree) and helped to build more than 90 homes in the LA area, many for Hollywood celebrities. Bill was very proud of his design of the Universal Studios Florida production facilities in Orlando, Florida. In the mid seventies Bill was promoted to back lot operations manager, and then Vice President of the studios operation group, where he remained until his retirement in 1999, concluding a studio career of 53 years with Universal Studios. Dan Slusser General Manger & President of the Operations Group, at the time, once said "Bill DeCinces had no peers when it came to studio back lot operations". Bill was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. A memorial service is being planned, and the time and place will be announced shortly. In lieu of flowers, Bill has requested that you make a donation to "The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research".
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 24, 2012
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