Obituary: William M. “Bill” Wilson

Early computer programmer, in demand audio and video technician

William M. “Bill” Wilson died July 30, 2023 of complications from a fall.

Bill was born March 20, 1942 in Chicago to Florence and William Sr. Following his father death, his grandmother helped him come to California where he attended Webb School. Bill graduated from Montclair High School, then from Mount San Antonio Junior College with an associate degree in science. His love of electronics and computers then led him to earn an engineering degree from Cal Poly Pomona.

While programming and “keypunching” IBM cards all night, he became a night owl. Demand for nighttime programmers at The Gas Company and other jobs at night led Bill to move to Claremont.

Pilgrim Congregational Church’s pipe organ piqued his interest in recording and video work. He engineered weekly church broadcasts on AM radio, and with his new FCC radio license, he quickly made friends and engineered other programs. Later, a friend from the radio station days led him to a management position at a clothing company.

His audio adventure continued when he joined a weekend movie film crew as audio recordist. Computer programming consulting work also kept him busy. He eventually invited his mother to join him in California, and soon they were both attending Pilgrim Congregational Church. He  joined several church social groups and videotape music programs, where he especially enjoyed taping the church’s “Christmas by candlelight” dinner programs.

He joined the Claremont Seniors Computer Club and served in various positions from “guru” to president. “Problem solving was his Friday afternoon joy in helping other seniors get their computers working,” his family shared.

His video and computer skills led him to Active Claremont, where he programmed the group’s website, kept membership records, and recorded meetings.

“Bill’s humor and his sharing his skills will be missed,” his family added.

He is survived by cousins Paul Walter Deiderich and Stan Deiderich of California, and Shannon Steen of Texas.

A celebration of life lunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 20 at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 600 N. Garey Ave., Pomona 91767.


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