William F. Gates Feb. 3, 1922 - Feb. 25, 2012 Born in Tuscon, AZ., Bill grew up in Tracy, CA and attended Tracy High School, where he played on the baseball and basketball teams, and served as student body president. In 1944, he graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in physics. At Berkeley, he was a member of the baseball team for one year, and then participated in the Navy V-12 program, which allowed him to train for military service while completing school. After graduating, Bill joined the war effort by working in the MIT Radiation Labs, developing advanced radar systems. When WWII ended, he joined Dalmo Victor Corporation in Belmont, CA as an engineer helping to build airborne radar for the Air Force and Navy. Over 15 years, he worked his way to V.P. of Engineering, and finally President of Dalmo Victor. In 1969, while Bill was president, Dalmo Victor provided the microwave communications antennae link from Ground Control at Cal Tech Goldstone, CA to Apollo 11 and the Lunar Excursion Module, which enabled viewers to witness man's first steps on the moon. After 25 years at Dalmo Victor, Bill decided to start his own company, Randtron Corporation of Menlo Park, CA. Bill finally retired, after 20 years of leading Randtron, which is still thriving as a prominent defense industry microwave antennae company. While at Dalmo Victor, Bill met Dixie Lee Wilson, whom he married and shared his life with for 60 years until she died in 2006. They built a home in Hillsborough in 1950, where they raised their family: Randy (deceas- ed from leukemia at 7 1/2), Jeffrey, and Linda. For the past 7 years, Bill lived at the Stratford in San Mateo, and enjoyed playing golf, spending time with his children and grandchildren, and traveling to Hawaii. He was a proud member of the "Hole in One Club", having made a hole in one on hole #2 at the Olympic Club in S.F. in 2001, and hole #7 at the Menlo Country Club in 2004. He was always striving to get an extra 10 yards on his drives, and felt he had improved his swing even in the last year. He is survived by: Jeff (and wife Ruth) Gates of Atlanta, GA; Linda Gates (and husband Peter Morris) of Atherton, CA; and his grandchildren, Ian and Devon Gates, and Scott, Casey, and Andrew Morris. According to his wishes, there will be no services held. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Lucille Packard Children's Cancer and Research Center, Palo Alto, CA.
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Feb. 29 to Mar. 1, 2012