William "Bill" Biddick Jr. passed away in Aptos, CA on July 3 at the age of 92. He was born in Stockton on June 29, 1920 and was a lifelong Stocktonian until moving to Aptos with his beloved wife Dorothy in December 2010 to be closer to family. In earlier years, Bill and Dorothy maintained a vacation home in Aptos which was a venue for many family activities. Dorothy passed away earlier this year.
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Bill was the only child of William Biddick, Sr., a native of Cornwall, England, and Bertha Jory Biddick, a California native of Cornish ancestry. He was proud of his Cornish heritage and his longtime membership in the Central United Methodist Church in Stockton. Bill attended Stockton public schools and graduated from Stockton High School in 1937. He continued his education at the College of the Pacific in Stockton, where he participated in the debate team, served as student body president and graduated in 1941. He spent many summers at YMCA Camp Alpine, located at Lake Alpine in the Sierra Nevada.
Following a year at Yale Law School, and the outbreak of World War II, Bill joined the U.S. Navy and served as a supply corps officer aboard naval ships in the Mediterranean and Pacific regions. He was involved in naval operations including the landings in southern France and Okinawa. After the war concluded, Bill decided to stay closer to home. He completed his studies at Stanford University Law School and began work as an attorney.
Meanwhile, mutual friends and relatives introduced Bill to a teacher from Lodi, Dorothy Thompson. The two lovebirds were married on October 17, 1948 at Morris Chapel on the Pacific campus and started a family in Stockton that grew to five children. Bill pursued a career in public service, serving with distinction as Deputy District Attorney for San Joaquin County (1950-52) and Stockton City Attorney (1953-56). He entered politics as the Democratic candidate for the 12th Assembly district in 1956 and won election in a decisive victory. Bill proved such a popular representative that he was reelected to a second term without opposition.
Bill's reputation for integrity, good humor and sound judgment helped him win election to the bench in 1960. He served as a Superior Court judge in San Joaquin County for two decades before retiring to spend more time with family and enjoy the simple pleasures of tennis with his friends and travel with his wife Dorothy. A judicial colleague in Stockton remembered him as "one of the finest judges in California." His family and friends remember him with deep love and affection as a humble and honorable man of many virtues.
Bill is survived by his five children; Joan Åberg (Per) of Uppsala, Sweden, Tom Biddick (Amy Chang) of Taipei, Taiwan, and Santa Cruz, John Biddick (Margie) of Aptos, Carolyn Biddick (Alisa Van Dissen) of Aptos and Barbara Breashears of Walnut Creek. He is survived by nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His grandchildren are Emil Åberg (Maria), Christine Gibson (Jonas), Caroline Åberg (Björn Köling), Ben Biddick, Will Breashears, Linnea Biddick, Claire Breashears, Samuel Biddick and Carson Biddick-Van Dissen. His great-grandchildren are Alma Åberg, Sixten Åberg, Bill Gibson, Pella Gibson and Abbe Köling.
Friends and family are invited to attend a celebration of the lives of Bill and Dorothy Biddick at the Central United Methodist Church, 3700 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA on Wednesday, July 25 at 11:00 AM, to be followed by a reception to which all are invited. To attend the reception, please send an e-mail message to email@example.com or phone John Biddick at 831 688-2861.
The family suggests that donations in memory of Bill Biddick could be made to Hospice of Santa Cruz County or any appropriate charity in the Stockton area. Messages of condolence can be sent to the Biddick family at 686 Bayview Drive, Aptos, CA 95003.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from July 10 to July 17, 2012