William Dimpfl

Profile Updated: November 2, 2022
Residing In: Kapaa, HI USA
Spouse/Partner: Heather
Homepage: On Facebook
Linkedin
YouTube
Occupation: Former Senior Scientist (now casual)
Children: Emily, born 1986
Charlotte, born 1989
Derek, born 1993
Grandson Darcy, born 2014
Heather's More…daughters: Kate (1986), Shelly (1989), Erin (1992)
Class Year: 1964
Where did you go to 8th grade?

Kentfield/Greenbrae- A E Kent Middle School

What have you been up to since you graduated from Redwood?

1964-1966 College of Marin: major in physics
1965 Started rock climbing
1966-1968 UC Irvine: changed major to physical chemistry. Graduated cum laude
1967 Climbed East face of Mt. Whitney
1968-1973 UC Berkeley: PhD in physical chemistry
1969-1971 Occupational deferment from draft for defense related curriculum
1969 Met Lou Reichardt climbed Lost Arrow, El Cap, Yosemite Point Buttress
1970 Climbed volcanoes in Mexico, Orizaba, Popocatapetyl
1971 Married Deborah Kimbrell
1973-1974 Postdoc at Max Planck Ins, Germany: chemical physics
1974 3 weeks climbing in Chamonix with Lou Reichardt: Brenva face Mt. Blanc, etc.
1974-1978 Postdoc at MIT: Laser induced fluorescence probe of molecular beams
1975-1978 Extensive cross country skiing & ice climbing in New England
1977 Led expedition on 2nd ascent of East Buttress of Denali (memorable!)
1978-1984 Chevron Research: refinery emission & catalysts research
1982 Joined USCF for bicycle racing
1983 Won Marin USCF road race
1984 Divorced Deborah
1985-1992 Aerospace Corp: rocket plume phenomenology
1986 Married Suzanne Garacochea and started a family
1986 Son, Christian, born
1989 Son, Dustin, born
1992-2000 Spectral Sciences, Boston: rocket plume phenomenology
1993 Son, Derek, born
1999 plume experiments are secondary payload on STS-93: space shuttle mission which launched the Chandra x-ray observatory
2001-present Aerospace Corp: plume phenomenology & missile defense
2001 took up the violin
2002 Joined a barbershop chorus
2002 took up oil painting
2004 Left the barbershop chorus
2005 Climbed SW face of Half Dome with Steve Beck
2006 Divorced Suzanne
2009 Met Heather on cruise to Australia
2008 Climbed SW face of Half Dome with Mike Syvanen
2009 Took up sailing
2011 Completed RAMBO experiments with space shuttle
2011 Took Heather and Derek to watch launch of last space shuttle
2013 Married Heather
2013 Survived Double Bypass surgery
2014 Filed patent for detecting satellite maneuvers
2014 Spent a month vacationing in Europe with Heather
2017 Reunion of Denali East Buttress Expedition at Mt. Rainer
2017 Cruise to Alaska with Heather
2017 Started YouTube channel
2017 Diagnosed with rare, aggressive leukemia
2018 Vacationed in Galapagos Islands with Heather before becoming symptomatic
2018 Patent on detecting satellite maneuvers issued (my "swan song")
2018 Stem cell transplant from sister Joan (only chance to survive)
2019 Had sailboat overhauled for competitive racing
2019 Bought Mavic 2 drone
2019 Vacationed in Southwest US with Heather
2019 Progressed in RC hobby to flying EDF jets
2020 Videoed CBYC sailboat races with drone
2020 Resumed sailboat racing
2021 Finished rebuilding my immune system
2021 Decided to move to Hawaii after pandemic is under control
2021 Sailing season culminated in winning Cal 20 National Championships in the Bronze fleet.
2021 Sold sailboat to move to Hawaii
2021 Moved to Kauai in December

School Story:

I started Redwood in the class of '63 in the fall of 1959 but left before my sophomore year as our family moved to the Middle East for an overseas assignment my dad had taken in his job as a group leader with Chevron Research to start a development lab at the huge Iranian refinery near the tip of the Persian Gulf. Back then Iran was ruled by the Shah. My Freshman year was memorable as Bob Troppmann had coached the varsity football team to win the MCAL championship, with a no loss season. It was great to go to the games an always win!

I lost a year in struggling to continue studies overseas through correspondence courses with the Berkeley University Extension, returning after two and a half years, reentering my Junior year in the class of '64. That year Coach Troppmann's son, Jim, as student body president challenged the school to demonstrate the fitness of American youth to President Kennedy by hiking fifty miles in walking from Redwood to Pt Reyes and back in a day. My legs ceased up with cramps when I sat to rest at Pt. Reyes Station. Many of the students completed the hike and the feat became a craze among US high schools.

Many years later I was visiting my dad's sister, Aunt Judy, who was living on her and Uncle Bob's ranch in Jamestown, near Sonora in the foothills of the Sierras. Her neighbor was an old friend of the Troppmann family and I learned that winning that '59-'60 football season was a major event in Bob Troppmann's life.

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02
Nov 02, 2022 at 6:10 PM

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Nov 02, 2022 at 5:58 PM
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Oct
30
Oct 30, 2022 at 5:03 PM

Hi Barbara, I just looked back at the Redwood High alumni web site to bring my profile up to date. I am a bit embarrassed as to how narcissistic my postings look, especially when I see how little other classmates post. Your name is next to mine in the list which is what inspired me to write (aside from having a strong memory of you) and which reminds me that you sat behind me in advanced math class. I think that is where we were when we learned that JFK had been shot. I have dodged a couple of bullets with bypass surgery (2013) and a stem cell transplant (2018) to cure an aggressive, rare leukemia. Heather and I moved to Kauai recently, thinking, "After surviving leukemia I don't know how much time I have left, so lets have an adventure!" We are also closer to her family back in Australia. I feel very lucky to be completely healthy now! I don't anticipate climbing any more mountains but love the ease of getting out to swim and bike in the tropics. Your photo makes me believe you are enjoying the wonder of grandchildren. Ours is back in Melbourne and we look forward to it being easier to spoil him now that travel has opened up again. My best wishes that you are healthy and happy! Cheers, Bill

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19
Feb 19, 2022 at 9:35 AM

Posted on: Feb 18, 2022 at 11:57 AM

Happy birthday Tom! A few years ago I reconnected with Collie Janda, who was living in the LA area. He continued in the pole vault and broke 16 feet. I focused on my career in science and ended up supporting the Air Force space program through the Aerospace Corporation. My athletic ambition turned toward mountaineering, rock climbing, and bicycle racing. My wife, Heather, and I recently moved to Hawaii to help rebuild strength following a stem cell transplant to beat leukemia and be closer to Heather’s friends and family in Australia. Hope all is well with you. Cheers, Bill

William Dimpfl has a birthday today.
May 20, 2021 at 1:33 AM
William Dimpfl has left an In Memory comment for Clifford Bunds Science.
Mar 29, 2021 at 1:58 PM

I had Mr. Bunds for chemistry during my junior year and for physics during my senior year. My memory is that he was the best instructor I had in high school. I ended up getting a PhD in physical chemistry from UC Berkeley and went on to Post Doc at the Max Planck insitute in Germany and MIT. I am surprised that there are not more comments, acknowledging his contributions.

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Mar 29, 2021 at 1:11 PM

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Mar 29, 2021 at 1:13 PM

Posted on: Jun 26, 2020 at 12:51 PM

Hi Andi, I was surprised to see your name in your post for Don Carroll. It has been a long time since Kentfield. My wife, Heather, and I have been spending time at our family cabin in Healdsburg, which is close to you in Cloverdale. We are back in San Pedro but plan to go up again.

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William Dimpfl