William Martinovich

William (Bill) Matthew Martinovich

Died on June 5, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Lucy Ringer, and her son Chris; his children Lisa, Michael, David and Nicole; his grandchildren Blake, Brandon and Mason; and his first wife, Barbra Blake.

Bill was born in San Francisco in 1930, attended Balboa High School, and got his Master's degree from UC Berkeley. He was proud to serve as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy. He later took the principled position of resigning his commission in protest against the Vietnam War.

Bill spent nearly his entire working life with Earl & Wright Consulting Engineers, first as a civil and structural engineer and ultimately as President of the company. He designed bridges throughout the country and oil drilling platforms around the world. Over the decades, he became a much-lauded innovator in the field of offshore engineering technology.

Bill was loved by his family and friends, admired and respected by the many colleagues he mentored and inspired.

Swimming was central to Bill's life - from his years on the Balboa swim team and lifeguarding at Fleischhacker Pool to his seasons on the Cal water polo team. He was among the early pioneers who surfed Ocean Beach in the 1950s. He continued body surfing through his seventies, and was a lifelong fitness swimmer. How perfect that when it was time for him to go, Bill died doing freestyle, a swimmer to his last breath.

He couldn't have engineered a better exit.

A memorial will be held at Kelly's Cove on September 28, 2013. We'll meet at noon at Stairwell 1, directly south of the Cliff House. All those who cared about Bill are welcome to attend this celebration of his life.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 22, 2013