WILLIAM J. DYKES William, Bill, long time Riverside resident, was born Nov. 29, 1924 in San Francisco and died Dec. 26, 2012 after a long illness. He moved to Riverside with his parents when he was 6 months old. Bill went to Palm School, Central Middle School and Poly High School. Bill was a 1st Lieutenant in the ROTC at Poly High School. After high school, he attended RCC, where he eventually taught Police Science there and at College of the Desert. Bill was in the Army/Air Force Reserve in WWII
and was one of the first soldiers to get the "new blue uniform" of the Air Force when he was in San Francisco. Bill and his friends walked in downtown San Francisco in their new uniforms, causing great curiosity. One passerby stopped Bill and asked him what uniform he was wearing and Bill displayed his mischievous sense of humor by telling the person that it was a "Dutch" uniform. Bill was intelligent and a great shot. He trained men in WWII how to shoot but wanted to be in the air and see action. The military made him a B-24 tail gunner. After WWII, Bill was called to serve his country again in the Korean War
. He was an Intelligence Specialist this time, foiling Russian spy's assignments. When he came home from the war, Bill went to work in the family business, Dykes Nursery. He met Reita through a mutual friend, Bob. Being an outdoors person, Bill took Reita on a hiking trip, paddled at the lake in Fairmount Park, then drove up Mt. Rubidoux, on their first date. After their first date, Bill told Bob that he was going to marry Reita. Bill married Reita, worked at the nursery, and worked as a State Police Officer
at UCR. Later, Bill got a job in the Coroner's office as a Public Administrator where he worked for 31 years. He was elected Riverside County Coroner for 7 1/2 years and worked on many high profile cases. Bill had a great love for the outdoors, sports, exploring, and traveling. He traveled around the U.S., Canada, Europe and Mexico. He loved to write and shared his military and coroner experiences with young students. He was a Mason and a Shriner. Bill leaves behind his loving wife, Reita, whom he was married to for 64 years. He was preceded in death by his loving daughter, Cynthia J. Dykes. Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 17, 2013 @ 10:30 am at Acheson and Graham Garden of Prayer on Magnolia Ave.