William G. ‘Bill’ Dunn

Oct. 18, 1921 — March 21, 2017

Bill Dunn passed away peacefully at his residence in Sonora on March 21, 2017. He was born in San Francisco to Steele and Jennie Dunn.

In World War II, Bill served as a B-24 navigator in the 376th Bombardment Group based in Italy. He flew 50 combat missions and was awarded three Air Medals and four European Campaign awards.

Bill was a graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in civil engineering and was a consulting water resources engineer for over 50 years. He participated in the development of the State Water Project beginning in the ’50s, and was a California water rights expert who testified on many water rights litigation cases. He spent much of his professional life researching and developing the Rocky Mountain Water Plan, which served as a major concept to move water from northern parts of western Canada to the western United States. He further studied and documented the disastrous flood of 1862 that turned the Central Valley region of California into inland seas for months and took thousands of human lives.

Bill moved to West Point in Calaveras County from Palo Alto, California, in 1976 and lived there until his move to Sonora in 2007. Bill also served as a director of the Calaveras County Water District from 1993-96 while living in West Point.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Irwin ”Steve” Dunn, of Amador County, and David Dunn, of Mill Valley.

Bill is survived by his son, Richard Dunn, of Lakeville, Minnesota; two daughters, Eileen Lawall, of Brookings, Oregon, and Elizabeth Hatcher, of Florence, Oregon; two granddaughters, Theresa Buckmaster, of San Jose, and Clarice Buckmaster, of Boise, Idaho; and his sister, Mary Lu Kost, of Sacramento.

He will be missed by all those who loved him and enjoyed his many stories about the war and his studies of water resources development.