Bill Scott Eichert passed away February 16, 2018, in Woodland, CA, at the age of 84, after a long battle with congestive heart failure, diabetes and recent kidney failure. He and his family moved to Davis in 1970, remaining there 46 years until his health started declining.
Mr. Eichert was born in Abilene, TX, November 19, 1933, as Billy Frank Scott, Jr., to parents Billy Frank Scott and Vernon (Scotty) Page Scott. His parents divorced, and his mother married Fred F. Eichert when Bill was 9 years old. Fred adopted Bill and was a wonderful role model throughout his life. Bill lived in southern California until moving to Albuquerque, NM, where he graduated from Highland High School in 1952. He then graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Science degree from their College of Engineering in 1956. During college, he received a Chi Epsilon National Honorary appointment, was in Navy ROTC, and lettered in track and wrestling. After college, Bill served in the military in the U.S. Naval Civil Engineer Corps, serving his tour of duty at the Naval Air Training base in Norman, OK, as the Public Works officer. While in Norman, Bill completed his Masters degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, where he also taught engineering classes half-time and became an avid follower of the OU football team. In Norman, he also met his future wife, Jeane Rodgers, whom he married in 1958. Bill started his civilian career with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa district in 1958. In 1964, he moved his wife and two children to California to join the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center, as Assistant Director when it was being established. He became Director of the Center, located in Davis, in 1972, overseeing a staff of 30 engineers and computer scientists carrying out HEC's research, training and technical assistance to the national Corps offices. He personally authored HEC-2 and HEC-5 programs, both used internationally. He retired in 1989.
Eichert's professional activities include serving as a member of the U.S. National Committee for the International Association of Hydrological Sciences. He served as chief technical adviser to the Institute of Hydro-Sciences in Tehran, Iran, for UNESCO, living there with his family in 1969. He also served in various other capacities with UNESCO, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Hydrology. In 1989, he was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the second highest honorary award given by the Department of the Army.
Bill was preceded in death by his father, Fred, his mother, Scotty, and his sister, Patricia. He is survived by his wife, Jeane; two children, Will Eichert and Laura Farley (Mike), and four grandchildren; Nathan Eichert, Chelsea Farley Lumpkin (David), Shonni Farley, and Trey Farley. Family was so important to him, and he enjoyed outings to the ocean with them, also hiking in Yosemite, plus family vacations on the Hawaii islands. He also enjoyed playing tennis, golf and boating.
A funeral service will be held Thursday, February 22, at 11:00 a.m. at the Smith Funeral Home Davis. In lieu of flowers, people can donate in Bill's memory to Yolo Hospice or any other organization of their choice.